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Full text of "The traveller's directory for Illinois : containing accurate sketches of the state ... list of the principal roads, stage and steamboat routes ... rivers ... internal improvements .. with much other information : the whole is intended as a companion to the new sectional map of Illinois"

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§€ ■ THE NORTHWEST • §g 


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in 2010 with funding from 

CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois 






BY J. m. PUCK, Of Rock Spring, IIX. 



No. 124 Broadway. 






No one, who has not toiled in the same field of labor and 
research, can know the difficulties to be overcome, the perplex^ 
ties in which he will be entangled, and the more so as he strives 
for accuracy, and the labor to be performed in preparing a book 
that shall be a true guide for the Emigrant or a Directory for 
the Traveler. With vividness of imagination, correctness of 
taste, a few general facts, and an easy, flowing pen, an author 
may make an entertaining and instructive book about any of 
our western states. 

But if he aim at accuracy in description, particularity in de- 
tail, brevity and system, so as to furnish all the information 
the Traveler, the Emigrant, — (or Immigrant as the modern 
term is,) — the man of business, or the distant reader desire, he 
has to toil for it. He must possess habits of close and discrimi- 
nating observation ; — he must visit important places, and gather 
his information from personal inspection ;— he must keep up a 
constant and extensive correspondence ; — and he must avail 
himself of every source and species of intelligence that he may 
be able to furnish all the information his readers expect. 

Much has been written in by-gone years to develop the re- 
sources and the advantages of the portion of the Great Valley 
that lies bordering on the Mississippi, and the regions beyond. 
The author of this work has spared no pains nor expense in 
procuring a library of all the books written upon the western 
country that have come within his reach. 

And though still deficient in some scarce and valuable 
works, it is reaUy interesting to see how many have labored in 
the same field before him, or are co-workers, and how much 
has been done to give to the world correct knowledge of this 
very important portion of our common country. 

The most valuable works that have fallen under the notice 
of the writer are here briefly mentioned. Leaving the journals 
and works of Joliet, Lasalle, Tonti, Hennepin, La Hontan, 
Du Pratz, Du Mont, Charlevoix, Bartram, Carver, Farmer, 
Volney, and other Europeans, whose writings are now our 


chief sources of information of the aborigines, and of the early 
settlements on the Mississippi, I shall confine myself to those 
whose labors have been performed since the commencement 
of the present century, and chiefly to those who have been, 
for a period, residents in the country about which they have 

A scarce, and yet most valuable work, especially for its 
exactness and particularity in determining by a series of astro- 
nomical observations the latitude and longitude of various 
points on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, is the Journal of 
Andrew Ellicott, who was commissioned by the United States 
Government for determining the boundary line between the 
United States, and the possessions of the crown of Spain. 
This commission was executed in 1796, '97, '98, '99, and 1800. 

The next work deserving notice is " Sketches, Historical and 
Descriptive, of Louisiana, by Major Amos Stoddard, of the 
U. S. Army." Major S. took possession of Upper Louisiana, 
as Missouri was then called, in 1804. He spent about five 
years in Upper and Lower Louisiana. The " Sketches" show 
great industry in collecting facts, and skill in arranging them. 
The author evidently was a gentleman of science, literature, 
good taste, and sound judgment. 

The journal of Lewis and Clark across the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and to the Pacific Ocean, in 1804, 1805 and 1806, fur- 
nished a vast amount of original intelligence of the "Far 
West," at that period. 

Ross'' Adventures on the Columbia River, from 1811 to 1817, 
and Irving's Astoria, furnish additional information of that 

Breckinridge's Tour in Upper Louisiana, should not be 
overlooked as a valuable work in its day. 

Pike's Expedition to the sources of the 3Iississippi, and 
through Louisiana to the Mexican Dominions, during 1805, 
1806 and 1807, contained a vast body of information of the 
country at that period. 

Harris'' Tour west of the Alleghany Mountains in 1803, 
evinces industry, candor, patient research, and a mind devoted 
to science. It is confined chiefly to the state of Ohio and the 
shores of the Ohio river. 

Shultz' Travels in 1807 and 1808, deserve notice, especially 
as exhibiting candor, and a desire to be fair and impartial in 
nis descriptions. He visited Illinois, St. Louis, and the Mis- 


souri Lead Mines, besides making an extensive tour through 
the western and southern states, both by land and water. 
Shultz was a foreigner, but he took unwearied pains to be cor- 
rect in his descriptions, and forms a happy contrast with the 
British tourists in general at that period. 

Bradbury's Travels in the Interior of America in 1809, 
'10, and '11, contain much valuable scientific and general infor- 
mation of Illinois, Missouri, and the regions of the west. Brad- 
bury was an Englishman and deserves credit for his impartiality. 

Michaux, (the elder and younger,) and Nuttall, as natural- 
ists, have done much to develop the botany and other 
branches of the Natural History of Illinois, Missouri, and 

Birbeck's Letters from Illinois in 1817, should not be over- 
looked. But as other European writers at that period, with a 
few honorable exceptions, appear to have been dehghted in giv- 
ing frightful exaggerations of the inconveniences of western 
Americans, Mr. Birbeck evidendy erred on the other side. 
Every thing in Illinois and the west, appeared to him in the 
fairest colors and the most flattering aspect. 

H. R. Schoolcraft, Esq., was an early laborer, as he has 
been an industrious and successful one, in developing the re- 
sources of the Great West. His " View of the Lead Mines 
of Missouri" with observations upon Missouri, Arkansas, and 
the adjacent regions, from a tour in 1818 and 1819, is an 
invaluable work, and almost the only source from whence ac- 
curate and particular information about the minerals of Mis- 
souri can be gained. His expedition to the sources of the 
Mississippi in 1831 and 1832, throws much additional light on 
that region. 

Beck's Gazetteer of Illinois and Missouri, compiled in 1819 
and 1820, while the author was a resident of St. Louis, is an 
invaluable work of the kind, shows great research, and patient 
industry in collecting a vast amount of original matter, all of 
which is arranged in a neat and scientific manner. Dr. Beck's 
was the real pioneer of all similar works in these two states. 

Darby's view of the United States, to which frequent refer- 
ence is made in the geography of the western states, should 
not be overlooked in connection with those writers who have 
furnished information of the geography and resources of the 

James Hall, Esq., is an early and successful laborer in this 


field. His " Letters from the West," published in the Port 
Folio some years since, are sprightly, graphic, and original. 
The " Illinois Monthly Magazine," and subsequently the 
*' Western Monthly Magazine," contained much that was valu- 
able and new. His " Notes on Illinois," published in the Maga- 
zine, contain a large amount of important facts, in a condensed 
form. More recently his graphical and instructive " Sketches 
of the West," in two volumes, have been read extensively. 

Flint's Recollections, a sprightly and valuable work of the 
kind, was first published in 1826. His "History and Geogra- 
phy of the Western Valley," appeared in 1832. They are 
both valuable works, indispensable to a library of western 
literature and intelligence. 

The Expeditions of Major S. H. Long and his Corps, first 
up the Missouri, and then up the Mississippi, the St. Peter's, 
Lake Winnepeek, and to the Red River colony of the north, 
with the notes of Messrs. Say, Keating and Calhoun, compiled 
by W. H. Keating, contain a large amount of information con. 
cerning the regions they explored. 

There are two Reports made by G. W. Featherstonhaugh, 
United States 1 Geologist, and published by order of Congress, 
both of which furnish a body of valuable information on the 
geological structure and mineralogy of the western states and 
territorial regions. 

The First Report contains the account of a reconnoisance 
made in 1834, through the western states, and a particular ex- 
amination of the elevated country between the Missouri and 
Red Rivers. 

The Second Report, is from a geological reconnoisance made 
in 1835, from Washington City, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, 
Michigan, to Green Bay in the Wisconsin territory, and from 
thence to the Coteau de Prairie, and the dividing ridge between 
the heads of St. Peter's and the waters of Missouri rivers. 

A " View of the Valley of the 3Iississippi," was compiled 
by the Rev. R. Baird, while traveling through the same region 
in 1831 and 1832, and published by H. S. Tanner, and con- 
tained in a condensed form much valuable information, and 
was creditable to the author as a statistical work. 

There are several other works, written in a sprightly and in- 
teresting style, that our readers would like to consult, and from 
which much useful information may be gleaned. Of these, 
Hoffman's " Winter in the West," published in 1835, and 


" The Far West," in 1838, by E. Flagg, Esq., each in two 
volumes, deserve particular notice. 

The author of this work, a few years past, little thought 
of being engaged in this field of labor. About ten years 
since, the people of the northern and middle states began to 
turn their attention to what was then considered " The Far 
West." Enterprising individuals, and occasionally a small 
colony would venture thus far from " home," but no general 
attention was called to this quarter. The philanthropic efforts 
to supply the western population with facilities for obtaining the 
scriptures, and to promote the moral welfare of the rising gene- 
ration by Sunday School instruction, were amongst the causes 
that awakened this attention. Illinois, especially, excited 
much inquiry. So many and frequent were the calls for de- 
tailed information of the writer by numerous correspondents, 
through several states, that the only alternative to relieve him- 
self from an onerous burden and gratify his friends and corres- 
pondents, was the compilation of a small Book, which was 
issued from the press in 1831, under the title of " A Guide for 
Emigrants, containing Sketches of Illinois, Missouri, and the 
adjacent parts." A portion of the facts and observations he 
had made while traveling extensively through those states for 
the preceding fourteen years, were thrown together hastily, with- 
out attempt at method or literary display. Subsequently, at 
the solicitation of many of his fellow citizens in Illinois, some 
of whom fill distinguished posts of honor in the state and nation, 
he compiled a Gazetteer of Illinois, which was published in 
1834. In 1835-6, the first edition of his Guide for Emigrants 
having been exhausted, and application being made for a second 
edition, he revised the whole work, changed the title page to 
that of " A New Guide for Emigrants to the West," collated 
and condensed a large mass of statistical and other information 
of all the western states and territories north of the Ohio river, 
including Missouri and Arkansas, and, in short, made a new 
book. Subsequent editions for both the " Gazetteer" and the 
" Guide " have been published. 

In the spring of 1834, not a single map of Illinois was in 
existence that deserved the least character for accuracy. At 
the period of the publication of the Map of Illinois, Missouri, 
and Arkansas, taken from the surveys by E. Brown and E. 
Barcroft in 1825, but a little more than one half of Illinois had 
been surveyed, and many inaccuracies were made in the k> 


cations of towns, the names of streams, and many other par- 
ticulars. The same difficulty existed in all the " Pocket" and 
" Traveler's" Maps issued by the publishers in the eastern cities. 
Not one was accurate. [The writer felt that the state was sus- 
taining an injury from the very defective and inaccurate means 
of information usually found on the maps. Obtaining the as- 
sistance of John Messinger, Esq., an old settler of St. Clair 
county, a surveyor and a mathematician, noted for his know- 
ledge and correctness, and who had been employed by the 
Government to perform some of the most difficult surveys in 
the state, he made a small pocket map, with the township lines 
drawn according to the surveys, and the towns and roads loca- 
ted where they should be. In performing this work he struck 
off about one third of the towns that appeared on other maps, 
but which had no real existence. They had been laid off in 
an early day of town speculation, had obtained a place on the 
maps, by those who were interested therein, but never were 
inhabited. The sites of some of these paper towns, could not 
now be found without the aid of a surveyor and his compass. 

While in New York, the writer became acquainted with the 
publisher of this work, J. H. Colton, Esq., who was engaged 
in publishing a new map of Michigan with the sectional lines 
and other marks pertaining to the land surveys, and was so- 
licited to undertake the execution of a map of Illinois on a 
similar plan. 

Associated with Mr. Messinger, th*e work was undertaken 
and completed in the spring of 1836. It proved a much more 
difficult and laborious task than at first supposed. 

The theory of U. S. Land surveys supposes correctness, but 
practice shows many deviations. In running long meridian 
and base lines, there will be some divergence by the best com- 
pass and most skillful surveyor. In running off townships, 
perfect accuracy is not ordinarily attained, and hence in sub- 
dividing a township into sections, the quarters on the north and 
west sides are expected to produce excesses or deficiencies. 
About every thirty miles, what is termed a " correcting," or 
" standard base" is run, and hence the reader will perceive the 
township lines on the map are not connected for a greater 

On all the large rivers, the fractional sections near the 
streams, and especially where the bottom lands are inundated, 
or contain ponds and sloughs, as those on the Illinois and Mis. 


sissippi rivers, are left unsurveyed for a period, and portions of 
those lands have never yet been meandered out. Along the 
Mississippi, in some places the current has washed away the 
land for half a mile or more, and in other places, alluvial de- 
posit has been made since the first surveys. The same 
cause has changed the shape and the position of many islands. 
Hence it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to ascertain 
exactly the line of the rivers. In some instances townships 
have been left undivided into sections in the first surveys, and 
reported as waste land. These we have thought best to fill up 
with the sectional fines as though they had been actually sur- 

In the early surveys of this District much inaccuracy and 
some illegality were suffered to exist. Every U. S. Deputy 
Surveyor acts under oath, which is specific as to his labor, 
field notes and plats, but instances have occured in which the 
field notes and plats in townships in the large prairies, were 
made out in the camp, as if the lines had actually been run ! 

The ferruginous and other local matter often affects the mag- 
netic influence, and defective compasses cause errors in the 
lines. On some of the plats the prairie and timber were not 
so accurately marked as desirable. All these and other causes 
increase the difficulty, and prevent perfect accuracy in the 
construction of a map from United States' surveys. 

In placing the topography unwearied pains have been taken, 
and probably fewer inaccuracies will be found than on the map 
of any other state. In locating towns, villages and post offices, 
the section and quarter township and range of the site, have 
invariably been the subject of correspondence and inquiry. 

The Department of the General Post Office furnished the 
writer with the names of all new offices, and correspondence 
with each post master enabled him to ascertain their exact lo- 
cation. The roads and the distances from point to point have 
been obtained by extensive traveling and correspondence. 

The names given to the rivers and creeks are those by which 
they are known to the people in their immediate vicinity. 

It will be perceived that a large district in the northern part 
of the state remains yet unsurveyed. The settlers in that re- 
gion have surveyed by random fines, so as to ascertain the pro- 
bable location of their towns, mill sites, farms and claims, 
when the country is legally surveyed and brought into market. 

In placing town sites on the map, the compilers desired to 


be impartial and correct, that speculators in town sites and 
"fancy" cities might take no advantage. Hence they adopted 
a general principle, to place no town on the map unless it ac- 
tually contained six dwelling-houses including stores, and as 
many families. County seats legally established, rail-road de- 
pots, and post offices were exceptions. It was soon discover- 
ed that this rule had been violated by the impertinent interfe- 
rence of interested speculators, or their agents, who in some 
instances, urged the claims of their " splendid" towns, at the 
publishing office in New- York, as important business points, 
and thus a number of towns obtained a locality and name on 
the map, which had no other existence than that given to it by 
the surveyor and the lithographic printer. These have been 
erased in the improved edition. Persons who have town sites 
which they desire to have placed on the map, and which pos- 
sess the requisite number of families, would do well to corres- 
pond with the compiler, and furnish him with accurate infor- 
mation of the locality and progress of their towns. 

Those persons who have examined a Book published by S. 
Augustus Mitchell, of Philadelphia, entitled, " ILLINOIS 
IN 1837, WITH A MAP," will find portions of that work 
copied into this. Nearly three-fourths of the pages of that Book 
were unwarrantably and illegally taken from the author's " Guide 
for Emigrants," and his "Gazetteer of Illinois," — the fruits of 
his own industry, from his own researches, and of which either 
he or his publishers held the copy-rights. He has taken this 
opportunity of reclaiming his own property. The author by no 
means expects to preclude those who follow him from making 
a proper use of his labors, but when taken by wholesale — by 
whole chapters, sections and pages, he will claim his own pro- 
perty, and take measures to prevent future depredations. 

The author has a long list of friends and correspondents from 
whom he has received aid in this as in his former works. Post- 
masters, clerks of the courts, members of the legislature, offi- 
cers of the state, and many other citizens, have laid him under 
lasting obligations. 

From public documents, both state and national, he has re- 
ceived much assistance. 

J. M. P. 

Mock Spring, III. April I, 1839. 



Introduction 3 

General View of the State of Illinois 13 

Face of the Country, and Varieties of Surface and Soil.. . 13 

Inundated Lands 14 

River Bottoms, or Alluvion 15 

Prairies 17 

Barrens 19 

Forest or Timbered Land , 20 

Knobs, Bluffs, Ravines, and Sink Holes 23 

Rivers 24 

Illinois River 27 

Obstructions to its Navigation 29 

Passages, Freight, &c, on Steamboats 34 

Towns, Landings, &c 35 

Streams tributary to the Illinois River 44 

Mississippi River 52 

Towns, Landings, and tributary Streams 52 

Rock River 56 

Obstructions to Navigation 57 

Mode of Improvement 57 

Great Wabash 59 

Obstructions to the Navigation, and Plan of Improve. 

ment 59 

Streams tributary to the Great Wabash 62 

Plans of Internal Improvement 62 

Illinois and Michigan Canal 62 

General System of Internal Improvement 68 

Works of Internal Improvement provided for 69 

Internal Improvement Fund 70 

Roads under contract 72 



Contemplated Rail Roads surveyed, &c 74 

Other public Improvements 79 

Company and private Improvements for public pur- 
poses 80 

Project of Draining the " American Bottom," and Mode 

of Improvement 81 

City of Cairo and Canal Company, and Plan of Improve- 

ment 84 

Manufactures 88 

Climate and Health 90 

Advice to Emigrants, &c 95 

Natural Curiosities and Antiquities 103 

Minerals 116 

Vegetable Productions 118 

Animals 122 

Education 128 

Colleges 130 

Religious Denominations 135 

Public Lands 138 

Government 144 

General Description of each County 145 

Appendix 186 

Suggestions to Emigrants — Canal, Steamboat, and Stage 

Routes, &c 186 

Roads, Distances, &c 193 

Appendix No. 2 217 

Illinois and Michigan Canal 218 

Cairo City 219 


Situation. — The State of Illinois, as may be seen from 
the Map, is of irregular shape, and is situated between 37 and 
42 degrees, 30 minutes, north latitude, and between 10 de- 
grees, 25 minutes, and 14 degrees, 25 minutes, west longitude 
from Washington City. 

Boundaries. — It is bounded on the north by Wisconsin Ter- 
ritory, northeast by Lake Michigan, east by Indiana, south by 
Kentucky, and west by Missouri and the Territory of Iowa. 

Extent. — Its extreme length, from the mouth of the Ohio, to 
the northern boundary, on the third principal meridian is 378 
miles ; — and its extreme width, from the west side of Hancock 
county to the east side of Vermilion county, is 212 miles ; — its 
average width is about 150 miles. The area of the whole state, 
including the portion of Lake Michigan within its boundaries, 
is about 60,000 square miles, or 38,400,000 acres. 

The water area of the state is computed at 3,750 square 
miles, or 2,400,000 acres. 

The irreclaimable waste lands in Illinois are vastly less than 
those of other states. 

We have no mountains, very few swamps and quagmires, 
but what admit of easy drainage, and no land so impoverished, 
bat what in time it will be valuable. The lands termed " ir- 
reclaimable wastes," do not exceed 6,400 square miles, or 
4,000,000 of acres,— leaving 50,000 square miles, or 32,000,000 
acres of arable land. 

Lands submerged by high waters, but which may be pro- 
tected at a moderate expense, are not included in this esti 


The general surface is level, or moderately undulating, the 
northern and southern portions are broken, and somewhat 


hilly, but no portion of the state is traversed with ranges of 
hills or mountains. At the verge of the alluvial soil on the 
margins of rivers, there are ranges of" bluffs" intersected with 
ravines. The bluffs are usually from fifty to one hundred and 
fifty feet high, where an extended surface of table land com- 
mences, covered with prairies and forest of various shapes and 

When examined minutely, there are several varieties in the 
surface of this state, which will be briefly specified and de- 

1. Inundated Lands. — I apply this term to all those por- 
tions, which, for some part of the year, are under water. 
These include portions of the river bottoms, and portions of 
the interior of large prairies, with the lakes and ponds which, 
for half the year or more, are without water. The term 
" bottom" is used throughout the west to denote the alluvial 
soil on the margin of rivers, usually called " intervals," in New 
England. Portions of this description of land are flowed for a 
longer or shorter period, when the rivers are full. Probably 
one tenth of the bottom lands are of this description; for though 
the water may not stand for any length of time, it prevents 
settlement and cultivation, though it does not interrupt the 
growth of timber and vegetation. These tracts are on the 
bottoms of the Wabash, Ohio, Mississippi, Illinois, and all the 
interior rivers. 

When the rivers rise above the ordinary height, the waters 
of the smaller streams which are backed up by the freshets of 
the former, break over their banks, and cover all -the low 
grounds. Here they stand for a few days, or for many weeks, 
especially towards the bluffs ; for it is a striking fact in the geo- 
logy of the western country, that all the river bottoms are high- 
er on the margins of the streams than at some distance back. 
Whenever increase of population shall create a demand for 
this species of soil, the most of it can be reclaimed at compa- 
ratively small expense. Its fertility will be inexhaustible, and 
if the waters from the rivers could be shut out by dykes or le- 
vees, the soil would be perfectly dry. Most of the small lakes 
on the American bottom disappear in the summer, and leave a 
deposit of vegetable matter undergoing decomposition, or a 
luxuriant coat of weeds and grass. 

As our prairies mostly lie between the streams that drain the 


country, the interior of the large ones is usually level. Here 
are formed small ponds and lakes after the winter and spring 
rains, which remain to be drawn off by evaporation, or ab- 
sorbed by the soil. Hence the middle of our large, level prai- 
ries are wet, and for several weeks portions of them are cover- 
ed with water. To remedy this inconvenience completely, and 
render all this portion of soil dry and productive, only requires 
a ditch or drain of two or three feet deep to be cut into the near- 
est ravine. In many instances a single furrow with the plough, 
would drain many acres. At present this species of inundated 
land offers no inconvenience to the people, except in the pro 
duction of miasm, and even that, perhaps, becomes too much 
diluted with the atmosphere to produce mischief before it reach 
es the settlements on the borders of the prairie. Hence the 
inference is correct, that our inundated lands present fewer ob- 
stacles to the settlement and growth of the country, and can be 
reclaimed at much less expense, than the swamps and salt 
marshes of the Atlantic states. 

2. River Bottoms, or Alluvion. — The surface of our allu- 
vial bottoms is not entirely level. In some places it resem- 
bles alternate waves of the ocean, and looks as though the 
waters had left their deposit in ridges, and retired. 

The portion of bottom land capable of present cultivation, and 
on which the waters never stand, if, at an extreme freshet, it 
is covered, is a soil of exhaustless fertility ; a soil that for ages 
past has been gradually deposited by the annual floods. Its 
average depth on the American bottom is from twenty to 
twenty-five feet. Logs of wood, and other indications, are 
found at that depth. The soil dug from wells on these botl 
toms, produces luxuriantly the first year. 

The most extensive and fertile tract, of this description of 
soil, in this state, is the American Bottom, a name it received 
when it constituted the western boundary of the United States, 
and which it has retained ever since. It commences at the 
mouth of the Kaskaskia river, five miles below the town of 
Kaskaskia, and extends northwardly along the Mississippi to 
the bluffs at Alton, a distance of ninety miles. Opposite St. 
Louis, in St. Clair county, the bluffs are seven miles from the 
river, and filled with inexhaustible beds of coal. The soil of 
this bottom is an argillaceous or a silicious loam, accordingly as 
clay or sand happens to predominate in its formation, 

16 traveler's directory 

On the margin of the river, and of some of its lakes, is a 
strip of heavy timber, with a thick undergrowth, which extends 
from half a mile to two miles in width, but from thence to the 
bluffs, it is principally prairie. It is interspersed with sloughs, 
lakes, and ponds, the most of which become dry in the fall season. 

The soil of the American bottom is inexhaustibly rich. 
About the French towns it has been cultivated, and produced 
corn in succession for more than a century, without exhaust- 
ing its fertilizing powers. The only objection that can be of. 
fered to this tract, is its unhealthy character. This, however, 
has diminished considerably within eight or ten years. The 
geological feature noticed in the last article — that all our bot- 
toms are higher on the margin of the stream than towards the 
bluffs, explains the cause why so much standing water is on 
the bottom land, which, during the summer stagnates and 
throws off noxious effluvia. These lakes are usually full of 
vegetable matter undergoing decomposition, and which pro- 
duces large quantities of miasm. Some of the lakes are cleai 
and of a sandy bottom, but the most are of a different char, 
acter. The French settle near a lake or a river, apparently in 
the most unhealthy places, and yet their constitutions are little 
affected, and they usually enjoy good health, though dwarfish 
and shriveled in their form and features. 

These lakes and ponds could be drained at a small expense, 
and the soil would be susceptible of cultivation. The early 
settlements of the Americans were either on this bottom, or the 
contiguous bluffs. 

Beside the American bottom, there are others that resemble 
it in its general character, but not in extent. In Union county 
there is an extensive bottom on the borders of the Mississippi. 
Above the mouth of the Illinois, and along the borders of the 
counties of Calhoun, Pike, and Adams, there is a series of bot- 
toms, with much good and elevated land, but the inundated 
grounds around, present objections to a dense population at 

The bottoms of Illinois, where not inundated, are equal in 
fertility, and the soil is less adhesive than most parts of the 
American bottom. This is likewise the character of the bot. 
toms in the northern parts of the state. 

The bottoms of the Kaskaskia are generally covered with a 
heavy growth of timber, and in many places inundated when 
the river is at its highest floods. 


The extensive prairies adjoining will create a demand for all 
this timber. The bottom lands on the Wabash are of various 
qualities. Near the mouth, much of it is inundated. Higher 
up, it overflows in high freshets. 

These bottoms, especially the American, are the best regions 
in the United States for raising stock, particularly horses, cat- 
tie, and swine. Seventy-five bushels of corn to the acre is an 
ordinary crop. The roots and worms of the soil, the acorns 
and other fruits from the trees, and the fish of the lakes, ac- 
celerate the growth of swine. Horses and cattle find exhaust. 
Jess supplies of grass in the prairies ; and pea vines, buffalo 
grass, wild oats, and other herbage in the timber, for summer 
range ; and often throughout most of the winter. In all the 
rush bottoms, they fatten during the severe weather on rushes. 
The bottom soil is not so well adapted to the production of 
small grain, as of maize or Indian corn, on account of its rank 
growth, and being more subject to blast or fall down before 
harvest, than on the uplands. 

3. Prairies. — A large part, probably two-thirds of the sur- 
face of the state, is covered with prairies. A common error 
has prevailed abroad that our prairie land is wet. Much of it 
is undulating and entirely dry. Prairie is a French word, 
signifying meadow, and is applied to any description of surface, 
that is destitute of timber and brushwood, and clothed with 
grass. Wet, dry, level, and undulating, are terms of descrip- 
tion mereiy, and apply to prairies in the same sense as they do 
to forest lands. 

Level prairie is sometimes wet, the water not running off* 
freely is left to be absorbed by the soil, or evaporated by the 
sun. Crawfish throw up their hillocks in this soil, and the 
farmer who cultivates it, will find his labors impeded by the 

In the southern part, that is, south of the national road lead- 
ing from Terre Haute to the Mississippi, the prairies are com- 
paratively small, varying in size from those of several miles in 
width, to those which contain only a few acres. As we go 
northward, they widen and extend on the more elevated 
ground between the water courses to a vast distance, and are 
frequently from six to twelve miles in width. Their borders 
are by no means uniform. Long points of timber project into 
the prairies, and line the banks of the streams, and points of 

18 traveler's directory 

prairie project into the timber between these streams. In 
many instances are copses and groves of timber, from one 
hundred to two thousand acres, in the midst of prairies, like 
islands in the ocean. This is a common feature in the country 
between the Sangamon river and Lake Michigan, and in the 
northern parts of the state. The lead mine region, both in this 
state and the Wisconsin Territory, abounds with these groves. 

The origin of these prairies has caused much speculation. 
We might as well dispute about the origin of forests, upon the 
assumption that the natural covering of the earth was grass. 
Probably one half of the earth's surface, in a state of nature, 
was prairies or barrens. Much of it, like our western prairies, 
was covered with a luxuriant coat of grass and herbage. The 
steppes of Tartary, the pampas of South America, the savan- 
nas of the southern, and the prairies of the western states, de- 
signate similar tracts of country. Mesopotamia, Syria, and 
Judea, had their ancient prairies, on which the patriarchs fed 
their flocks. Missionaries in Burmah, and travelers in the 
interior of Africa, mention the same description of country. 
Where the tough sward of the prairie is once formed, timber 
will not take root. Destroy this by the plough, or by any other 
method, and it is soon converted into forest land. There are 
large tracts of country in the older settlements, where, thirty 
or forty years since, the farmers mowed their hay, that are now 
covered with a forest of young timber of rapid growth. 

The fire annually sweeps over the prairies, destroying the 
grass and herbage, blackening the surface, and leaving a de- 
posit of ashes to enrich the soil. 

It is evident to those who, for a series of years, have ob- 
served the changes upon prairie lands, that they were never 
caused, nor are they perpetuated by these sweeping autumnal 
fires. The writer has known a tract of prairie enclosed, and 
preserved from the ravages of fire for a quarter of a century, 
and still retain, as if with determined tenacity, its distinctive 
character. Not a shrub or bush appeared. Brushwood and 
timber will not grow as long as its adhesive sward remains 
unbroken. The prairie grass must be destroyed before timber 
will take root. This fact is well known to the old inhabitants 
of the country, and is worth a thousand speculations of recent 
emigrants or casual tourists. 

Extensive prairies existed in the Atlantic states at the period 
of the first visits of Europeans. Captain John Smith noticed 


them when he visited the Chesapeake. The late Mungo Park 
describes the annual burning of the plains of Manding in 
Western Africa, in the same manner as one would describe 
the prairie fires of the Western States. The writer is ac- 
quainted with thousands of acres, now covered with a thick 
growth of young timber, that since his residence in the country 
have been changed from prairie. Invariably the grass and 
sward were first destroyed. 

4. Barrens. — This term, in the western dialect, does not in- 
dicate poor land, but a species of surface of a mixed character, 
uniting forest and prairie. These are called " openings" in 
Michigan, and Northern Illinois. 

The timber is generally scattering, of a rough and stunted 
appearance, interspersed with patches of hazle and brushwood, 
and where the contest between the fire and timber is kept up, 
each striving for the mastery. 

In the early settlements of Kentucky, much of the country 
below and south of Green river presented a dwarfish and stunt- 
ed growth of timber, scattered over the surface, or collected in 
clumps, with hazle and shrubbery intermixed. This appear- 
ance led the first explorers to the inference that the soil itself 
must necessarily be poor, to produce so scanty a growth of 
timber, and they gave the name of barrens to the whole tract 
of country. Long since it has been ascertained, that this de- 
scription of land is amongst the most productive soil in the 
state. The term barren has since received a very extensive 
application throughout the west. Like all other tracts of coun- 
try, the barrens present a considerable diversity of soil. In 
general, however, the surface is more uneven or rolling than 
the prairies, and sooner degenerates into ravines and sink- 
holes. Wherever timber barely sufficient for present pur- 
poses can be found, a person need not hesitate to settle in the 
barrens. These tracts are almost invariably healthy ; they pos- 
sess a greater abundance of pure springs of water, and the 
soil is better adapted for all kinds of produce, and all descrip- 
tions of seasons, wet and dry, than the deeper and richer 
mould of the bottoms and prairies. 

When the fires are stopped, these barrens produce timber, 
at a rate of which no northern emigrant can have any just con- 
ception. Dwarfish shrubs, and small trees of oak and hickory 
are scattered over the surface, where for years they have con- 

20 traveler's directory 

tended with the fires for a precarious existence, while a raasa 
of roots, sufficient for the support of large trees, have accumu- 
lated in the earth. Soon as they are protected froni the ravages 
of the annual fires, the more thrifty sprouts shoot forth, and in 
ten years are large enough for corn cribs and stables. 

As the fires on the prairies become stopped by the surround, 
ing settlements, and the wild grass is eaten out and trodden 
down by the stock, they begin to assume the character of bar- 
rens ; first hazle and other shrubs, and finally, a thicket of young 
timber, covers the surface. 

5. Forest, or Timbered Land. — In general, Illinois is abun- 
dantly supplied with timber, and were it equally distributed 
through the state there would be no part wanting. The ap- 
parent scarcity of timber where the prairie predominates, is not 
so great an obstacle to the settlement as has been supposed. 
For many of the purposes to which timber is applied, substitutes 
are found. The rapidity with which the young growth pushes 
itself forward, without a single effort on the part of man to ac- 
celerate it, and the readiness with which the prairie becomes 
converted into thickets, and then into a forest of young timber, 
shows that, in another generation, timber will not be wanting 
in any part of Illinois. 

The kinds of timber most abundant, are oaks of various spe- 
cies, black and white walnut, ash of several kinds, elm, sugar 
maple, honey locust, hackberry, linden, hickory, cotton wood, 
pecaun, mulberry, buckeye, sycamore, wild cherry, box elder, 
sassafras, and persimmon. In the southern and eastern parts 
of the state are yellow poplar, and beech ; near the Ohio are 
cypress, and in several counties are clumps of yellow pine and 
cedar. The undergrowth are redbud, papaw, sumack, plum, 
crab apple, grape vines, dogwood, spice bush, green brier, 
hazle, &c. 

The alluvial soil of the rivers produces cotton wood and 
sycamore timber of amazing size. 

The cotton wood is of rapid growth, a light, white wood, 
sometimes used for rails, shingles, and scantlings, not lasting, 
but of no great value. Its dry, light wood is much used in 
steamboats. It forms the chief proportion of the drift wood 
that floats down our rivers, and is frequently converted into 
planters, snags, and sawyers. The sycamore is the button 
wood of New England, is frequently hollow, and in that state 


procured by the farmers, cut at suitable lengths, cleaned out, 
and used as depositories for grain. They answer the pur- 
pose of large casks. The size of the cavity of some of these 
trees appears incredible, in the ears of a stranger, to the luxuriant 
growth of the west. To say that twenty or thirty men could be 
comfortably lodged in one, would seem a monstrous fiction to 
a New Englander, but to those accustomed to this species of 
tree on our bottoms, it is nothing marvelous. 

The uplands are covered with various species of oak, amongst 
which is the post oak, a valuable and lasting timber for posts ; 
white oak, black oak of several varieties, and the blackjack, a 
dwarfish, knarled looking tree, good for nothing but fuel, for 
which it is equal to any tree we have. The black walnut is 
much used for building materials, and cabinet work, and sus- 
tains a fine polish. The different species of oaks, walnuts, 
hackberry, and occasionally hickory, are used for fencing. 

In some parts of the state, the white and yellow poplar pre- 
vails. Beginning at the Mississippi a few miles above the 
mouth of the Muddy river, on the map appended to this work, 
and extending a line across the state to the mouth of the Little 
Wabash, leaves the poplar range south, interspersed with oc- 
casional clumps of beach. Near the Ohio, on the low creek 
bottoms, the cypress is found. No poplar exists on the eastern 
borders of the state, till you arrive at or near Palestine, while 
on the opposite shore of the Wabash, in Indiana, the poplar 
and beach predominate. Near Palestine in Crawford county, 
the poplar again commences, intermixed with beach, and all 
the varieties of timber. A spur of it puts into the interior of 
the state on the Little Wabash, above Maysville. 

Timber not only grows much more rapid in this country than 
in the northern states, but it decays sooner when put in build- 
ings, fences, or in any way exposed to the weather. It is more 
porous, and will shrink and expand as the weather is wet or 
dry, to a much greater extent than the timber of New England. 
This may be owing partly to the atmosphere, but it is unques- 
tionably owing in part to the quality of the timber. The fences 
require to be newly laid, and one third of the rails provided 
anew, in a period of from seven to ten years. A shingled roof 
requires replacing in about twelve years. This, however, may 
not be a fair estimate, because most of our timber is prepared 
hastily, and in a green state. Doubtless, with proper care in the 
seasoning, and in the preservation, it would last much longer, 

22 traveler's directory 

Timber is ordinarily required for four purposes ; fencing, build- 
ing, fuel, and mechanical operations. I have already shown 
that rails is almost the only article used for fencing. In mak- 
ing a plantation in this mode, requires a great waste of timber. 
Nor will a man, with a moderate capital, and with the burden 
of an increasing family, stop to make experiments. He must 
have fields enclosed, and takes the quickest and cheapest me- 
thod, by cutting down the most convenient timber and making 

The first buildings put up are cabins made of logs, slightly 
hewn on two sides, and the corners notched together. They 
are made single, or double, with a space between, according to 
the enterprise, force, or taste, of the owner. Around it are 
usually put up a meat or smoke house, a kitchen or cook house, 
a stable and corn crib, and perhaps, a spring house to keep milk 
cool in summer, all built in the same manner as the dwelling. 
The next step in advance for a dwelling is a log house. This is 
made of logs hewn on two sides to an equal thickness, the ends 
notched together, apertures cut through for doors and windows, 
a framed and shingled roof, and a brick or stone chimney. 

It is perfectly obvious that this mode of building sweeps off 
vast quantities of timber, that by a more judicious and econo- 
mical plan, would be saved for other purposes. In a few years, 
brick, and in some instances stone, will take the place of these 
rude and misshapen piles of timber. This begins to take effect 
in those counties where the people have obtained the means— 
for brick and framed houses are fast erecting. The substratum 
of the soil, in any place, is excellent for brick, and in many of 
the bluffs inexhaustible quarries of lime stone exist. The waste 
of timber for buildings then will be greatly lessened, as the 
country advances in improvement, population and wealth. 

As in all countries where the population have been acustomed 
to burn excessive quantities of wood before they emigrate, and 
where they live in cold and open cabins, there is a great waste 
of timber for fuel. This will be remedied as the people obtain 
close and comfortable dwellings, and make use of proper econo- 
my in this article. In almost every direction through the coun- 
try, there are inexhaustible stores of bituminous coal near the 
surface of the earth. Here is fuel for domestic purposes, and 
for steam-engines without limits. 

For mechanical purposes there is timber enough, and will 
continue to be, 


It will be perceived that Illinois does not labor under as great 
inconveniences for timber, as many have supposed. If pro- 
vision is made for the first fifty years, future supplies will be 
abundant. I have said nothing about the artificial production 
of timber. This maybe effected with little trouble or expense, 
and to an indefinite extent. The black locust, a native growth 
of Ohio and Kentucky, may be raised from the seed, with far 
less labor than a nursery of apple-trees ; and as it is of very 
rapid growth, and a valuable and lasting timber for fencing, 
buildings, and boats, it must claim the attention of our farmers. 
Already it forms one of our cleanliest and most beautiful shades, 
and when in blossom, presents a rich prospect, and a most de- 
licious fragrance. 

6. Knobs, Bluffs, Ravines and Sink-Holes. Under these 
heads are included tracts of uneven country found in various 
parts of the state. 

Knobs are ridges of flint limestone, intermingled and covered 
with earth, and elevated one or two hundred feet above the 
common surface. This species of land is of little value for 
cultivation, and usually has a sprinkling of dwarfish, stunted 
timber, like the barrens. 

The steep hills and natural mounds that border the alluvions 
have obtained the name of bluffs. Some are in long, parallel 
ridges, others are in the form of cones and pyramids. In some 
places precipices of limestone rock, from fifty to one or two 
hundred feet high, form these bluffs. 

Ravines are formed amongst the bluffs, and often near the 
borders or prairies, which lead down to the streams. 

Sink-holes are circular depressions in the surface like a 
basin. They are of various sizes, from ten to fifty feet deep, 
and from ten to one or two hundred yards in circumference. 
Frequently they contain an outlet for the water received by the 
rains. Their existence shows that the substratum is secondary 
limestone abounding in subterraneous cavities. 

There are but few tracts of stony ground in the state ; that 
is, where loose stones are scattered over the surface, and im- 
bedded in the soil. Towards the northern part of the state, 
tracts of stony ground exist. Quarries of stone exist in the 
bluffs, and in the banks of the streams and ravines throughout 
the state. 

24 traveler's directory 

The soil is porous, easy to cultivate, and exceedingly pro 
ductive. A strong team is required to break up the prairies, 
on account of the firm, grassy sward which covers them. Bu* 
when subdued, they become fine, arable lands. 


A glance on the map will convince the reader, that the state 
of Illinois possesses immense advantages for inland navigation. 

Its northeastern corner, for fifty miles, has Lake Michigan, 
the waters of which will soon pour a tribute in the Illinois by 
the canal, and thus open a communication with the whole lake 
country of the north ; with Canada and the ocean by the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence ; and with Hudson River and New- York city 
by the grand canal of New- York. Its whole western border 
is washed by the Mississippi, which, following its meanderings, 
makes a distance from north to south of about 700 miles. The 
Ohio laves its southern shore for about 130 miles, and the Great 
Wabash forms its eastern boundary in its various windings, 
about 170 miles ; thus furnishing a natural water navigation on 
its borders for more than 1,000 miles. 

Its interior navigable streams are the Saline, Muddy, Kas- 
kaskia, Little Wabash, Embarras, Illinois, with its several tribu- 
taries, Snycarty Slough, and Rock Rivers. 

The Saline enters the Ohio River in Gallatin county, 12 
miles below Shawneetown, and is navigable 14 miles to Equali- 
ty. It is made by three principal branches, distinguished as the 
North, South, and Middle Forks, which unite near Equality. 
They are sufficiently distinguished on the map not to need further 

Muddy, (called by the French who discovered it, Riviere au 
Vase, or Vaseux,) is usually distinguished from one of its tribu- 
taries as Big Muddy River, enters the Mississippi below a 
large island, in fractional township eleven south, and range 
four west from the third principal meridian. It is navigable 
some distance above Brownsville. Its bluffs generally are ab- 
rupt, and the land along its branches is undulating, and for 
most of its length, the country is well timbered. Inexhaustible 
beds of coal are formed in its bluffs, and valuable salines have 
been worked in the same vicinity. Native copper in detached, 
and small masses has been found on its banks. The country 
along the main stream and tributaries, is excellent for cultiva- 
tion and grazing. Its principal tributaries, which rise in Ha- 


milton, Jefferson and Washington counties, are Middle Fork, 
North Fork, Little Muddy and Beaucoup. 

The Kaskaskia River has been navigated by steamboats to 
Carlyle, the point where the Vincennes and St. Louis stage 
route crosses, and can easily be made navigable for a portion 
of the year to Vandalia, if not to Shelbyville. A small amount 
of labor the past season, applied under the direction of the 
Board of Public Works, has cleared out the obstructions from 
its channel caused by logs and flood wood, and cut the sloping 
timber from its banks, from its mouth into the county of St. 

The Kaskaskia River rises in Champaign co., runs south ii • 
to Coles, thence southwestwardly into Shelby, leaving the 
town of Shelbyville on its west bank. It passes diagonally 
through Fayette, leaving Vandalia on its west bank, and a 
large traet of low bottom land on the opposite shore. Here 
the National Road crosses on a substantial bridge. Passing 
towards Clinton county, it touches the southeast corner of 
Bond. Carlyle on its west bank, is intersected by the Vin- 
cennes and St. Louis stage road, and the Alton and Mount 
Carmel rail road. From Carlyle the river passes to the south- 
east corner of Clinton county, leaving a corner of Washington 
on the left, it passes through the southeastern part of St. Clair, 
touches the eastern border of Monroe, enters Randolph coun- 
ty, through which it runs, first a south, then a southeast course, 
and enters the Mississippi 6 miles below the old Kaskaskia, vil- 
lage, and two miles above Chester. Its tributaries are not 
large but numerous, and drain an extensive tract of fertile and 
valuable country, in which the timbered and prairie lands are 
proportionally distributed. Its tributary waters are formed in 
the counties of Randolph, Monroe, St. Clair, Washington, 
Clinton, Madison, Bond, Marion, Fayette, Effingham, Mont- 
gomery, Shelby, Coles, Macon and Champaign. Towards its 
heads the prairies are large, and the timber found on the banks 
of the streams, and in detached groves. 

The Little Wabash River rises in the prairies in township 
twelve north, range six east, in Shelby county. It runs a south- 
eastern course through the county of Effingham, leaving Ew- 
ington on the west, into Clay through which it passes diagonally, 
having Louisville, or Green's Mills on the west, and passing 
two miles from Maysville. 

Here the Vincennes and St. Louis stage road passes over a 

26 traveler's directory 

bad swamp between the Little Wabash and its tributary the 
Muddy, through which the state, at an expense of $15,000, 
has constructed a durable road. Leaving Clay county, it passes 
across the northeast corner of Wayne county, thence it me- 
anders into Edwards, and back again into Wayne, and after 
once more crossing the boundary into Edwards, it enters White 
county, receives the Skillet Fork, which also could easily be 
made navigable, and passes Carmion the west. Above its mouth 
it touches the northeast corner of Gallatin, at New Haven, and 
enters the Great Wabash River 3 miles below. At New Ha- 
ven are rocky rapids, and at other places are logs, sloping trees, 
and sand bars that obstruct the navigation. The Internal Im- 
provement law of the state appropriates $50,000 to remove 
these obstructions, when the Little Wabash can be navigated 
into Clay county. 

The Embarras River at a trifling expense might be made navi- 
gable to Lawrenceville, and perhaps somewhat further, possi- 
bly, at high water, as far up as Coles county. The heads of this 
stream will be found in Champaign county in T. 18 North. It 
passes through the length of Coles county, leaving Charleston 
two and half miles to the west, crosses the National Road near 
Greenup, runs through Jasper county, leaving Newton on its 
west bank, where it turns a southeastern course. Passing 
through a corner of Crawford county, it enters Lawrence, and 
leaving Lawrenceville on its west side, it enters the Great Wa- 
bash near the township line, six miles below Vincennes. Near 
its mouth is much land inundated at the high floods of the 
Great Wabash, and the waters of that river, and those of the 
Embarras frequently unite. Between it and the Wabash are 
also swamps known by the inappropriate name of " purga- 

These obstructions to traveling on the "old Vincennes 
trace," as the obscure path through the prairies from Kaskas- 
kia to Vincennes was then called, led the early French ex- 
plorers to name this stream " Embarras." 

The quality of the land on this stream and its tributaries 
is various, though much of it is good. Towards its head, 
the prairie country greatly predominates, the timber being 
in groves and strips along its banks. In Coles county, oppo- 
site Charleston, the timber is from two to six miles wide, and 
below, it increases to the width of ten miles. Its bottoms 
are frequently overflowed in time of high waters. Generally 


the prairies through which it flows are second rate land, for 
more than half its length from its mouth. The main stream 
and its tributaries afford many good mill seats. 


The Illinois is much the largest navigable river within the 
state, and commences its name at the junction of the Kanka- 
kee andDes Plaines. From thence it runs nearly a west course, 
for part of the distance over the " Grand Rapids" to Ottawa at 
the mouth of Fox River, receiving Au Sable from the north, 
and Nettle Creek, or Mazon, from the south. Along this line, 
and especially at Marseilles, there is immense water power for 
manufacturing purposes, but no convenient navagation. The 
canal runs on the north side, parallel with its banks. 

At Ottawa, the river at all times has deep water and a 
commodious basin or harbor. To this point it is now naviga- 
ble at a high stage of water for large steamboats. The Lower 
rapids at a low stage of water interrupt the navigation between 
Ottawa and La Salle, where the Illinois and Michigan Canal 
terminates, but it is expected the obstructions will be so far re- 
moved as to open a navigable communication with Ottawa, by 
the river, at all times. 

The junction of the canal with the Illinois River at La Salle, 
where basins are now constructing for both canal and steam- 
boats, and it being the crossing place of the central rail road 
from the mouth of the Ohio to Galena, will make this a busi- 
ness place of pre-eminent importance to the state. 

A short distance above this point, it receives Vermilion River 
from the south, and Litde Vermilion from the north. After 
crossing the third principal meridan, six miles above Hennepin, 
it curves to the south, and then to the southwest, receiving Bu- 
reau and several smaller streams, it expands into a beautiful 
sheet of water, known as Peoria Lake. This lake is from one 
to four miles in width, and twenty miles in length. The water 
is clear, its bottom gravelly, and it abounds with various kinds 
of fish. It may be regarded rather as two lakes, as at the fer- 
ry, long known by the name of " Little Detroit," and now by 
that of " the Narrows," the water is contracted to the usual 
width of the river. Travelers will find the passage on a steam- 
boat, on this lake, a most delightful one in a warm day. Most 
of the eastern shore is low bottom and swamp, subject to inun. 

28 traveler's directory 

On the western shore, the high bluffs approach the margin 
of the lake, and overhang the road, about the narrows, above 
which a rich and heavy timbered tract of bottom land is spread 
out between the bluffs and the lake shore. Still further opens 
the beautiful, undulating rich prairie of La Salle, and the bluffs 
retire in low ridges to the distance of several miles. 

Three miles below Peoria, the Illinois receives Kickapoo 
Creek from the west, and the same distance below Pekin comes 
in Mackinau from the east. Copperas Creek enters from the 
eastern part of Fulton county, where for many miles will be 
discovered a low, swampy region on its western side, between 
the river and the bluffs. Here and there, directly on the mar- 
gin of the river, are strips of land elevated above high water. 
The most conspicuous and deserving of notice is Bailey's Is- 
land, or Liverpool, handsomely situated above the highest 
floods. An expensive causeway or embankment, of about 
two miles in extent, would connect this site with the bluffs, and 
render it an important landing for Fulton county. Near Ha- 
vanna, is a lagoon or slough on the eastern side, which, in for- 
mer times was often mistaken by the boatmen for the main 

Directly opposite Havanna, Spoon River comes in from the 
northwest. This river has been navigated by steamboat to 
Waterford, at the bluffs, and at small expense might be opened 
to Bernadotte. Pursuing the course of the river downward, we 
pass the mouth of Otter Creek from the west, and one or two 
other trifling streams, and reach the mouth of Sangamon, at 
the northwest corner of Cass county. As this river will receive 
a separate notice, we proceed downward. From the west 
comes in Sugar Creek, near the bluffs of which is located 
Schuyler City, intended as the depot of the rail road from 
Rushville to the Illinois river. 

Crooked Creek, or as the French called it "La Mine riviere" 
enters from the west, six miles below Beardstown. It might 
easily be made navigable to the bluffs. A few miles further 
down is Indian Creek, which loses itself in the inundated bot- 
toms before its waters enter the Illinois. By the French it was 
called La Ballance. 

McKee's Creek enters the Illinois two miles above Naples, 
from the western side, and two miles below comes in the 
Mauvaise terre from the east. Passing Big and Little Blue 
rivers, two insignificant streams from the west, we find Sandy 


entering the Illinois in the southwestern part of Scott coun- 
ty. Hodges Creek, and the outlet of two lakes, called 
Grand Passe, will be found in the northwest part of Greene 
county. Further down is Apple Creek, coming in from the 
east. Between this and the Macoupin is noticed the flourish- 
ing settlement of Bluffdale. Macoupin Creek enters a slough 
behind an island, the mouth of which is hid from the main 
channel. Otter Creek heads in the south part of Greene county, 
and enters the Illinois fourteen miles above its mouth, and two 
miles further comes in Racoon Creek. At Naples, the river 
gradually turns to a more southern course, which it pursues till 
within six miles of the Missisippi, when it bends to the south- 
east, and finally, to an east course, where its waters unite with 
that river behind a cluster of islands. 

The parting of the channels of the Mississippi and Illinois 
rivers for steamboat navigation is at Grafton, two miles below 
its mouth. 


This river was examined with a view to the improvement 
of its navigation by Howard Stansbury, U. S. Assistant Civil 
Engineer, in 1837, and reported to the Secretary of the War 
Department, February 14, 1838. The instructions of the de- 
partment required an examination to be made, from the mouth 
of the river to the termination of the canal from Lake Michigan. 

From this point to its mouth the river flows over a bed of 
sand, an alluvial deposit, with a very gentle current. Its banks 
consist chiefly of low alluvial bottoms, which are skirted with 
small lakes, most of which are connected with the river by 
sloughs and outlets, and the greater portion inundated at high 

For most of the year, in ordinary seasons, the navigation by 
steamboats, drawing from three to four feet water, is uninter- 
rupted. During the years of 1835, 1836, and 1837, the water 
was not as low as this, and boats drawing two and a half and 
three feet passed without interruption, except from ice in the win- 
ter. During 1838, the western streams were the lowest, and 
the season from June, the driest ever known within the memory 
of man, steamboat navigation on the Illinois was interrupted 
almost entirely after the 20th of July. 

Mr. Stansbury says in his report alluded to : 

30 traveler's directory 

" The obstructions consist entirely of bars, formed for the 
most part by the deposit of sand and alluvial matter brought 
down by the tributary streams, and in some cases, by the widen- 
ing of the bed of the river itself. A remarkable uniformity 
prevails in the shape and position of these bars relative to the 
banks, indicating a similar uniformity in the laws by which they 
were formed, so that a description of one of them is sufficient 
to give a clear idea of the nature of all. When the water is low, 
the greater portion of these bars are exposed, and at a medium 
stage, the vast quantity of aquatic weeds with which the rivei 
is covered, points out their position with unerring exactitude 
In some cases the bed is irregular, consisting of sand reefs, as 
they are termed by the pilots, which have no well defined form, 
but consist of lumps, or small isolated elevations, not connected 
in a regular chain, having deep water between and around 
them, and rendering the navigation in their vicinity somewhat 

" The form and position of these bars, although composed 
of materials so easily operated- upon by a current, remain from 
year to year without perceptible alteration, unless it should hap. 
pen that the river breaks up suddenly in the spring ; in which 
case the ice, instead of gradually dissolving, is carried down in 
masses by the current, and by its mechanical action upon the 
bottom, some change is occasioned in the channel. 

" A few logs and snags are here and there to be found, but 
no danger is apprehended from them, as they retain their posi- 
tions, their localities are perfectly well known, and they are 
easily avoided." 

The engineer in his report raises decided, and I think un- 
answerable objections, against the mode of improvement adopt- 
ed with success in some rivers ; — the erection of wing dams so 
as to concentrate the current upon the bar to be removed. The 
want of sufficient velocity in the current ; the constant inunda- 
tion of the low bottom lands by raising the river at any point ; 
the want of rock near, and the vast expenditure in this item 
alone, are amongst his objections, and apply with peculiar force 
to that part of the river which is below Beardstown. 

The plan of improvement recommended, is to excavate chan 
nels through these bars, and that only to a limited extent, by a 
dredging machine, to be employed during the summer months, 
first by excavating the channels through the bars, and occa 
Bionally afterward in keeping the channel open. The excava 


tions in most cases will not exceed one foot in depth, and often 
not over six inches to gain three feet depth of water. 

The following are the bars named : 

The French bars, at the mouth of the Macoupin, 23 miles 
from the mouth of the Illinois. These are now called the up. 
per and lower bars; the first requires a cut of three hun- 
dred yards in length, and the other a cut of two hundred yards. 
The bed consists of sand and soft mud. The depth of the 
channel here varies according to the height of the water in the 
Mississippi River. The number of cubic yards to be removed 
is six thousand five hundred. 

The next shoal is at the mouth of Apple Creek, two bars. 
The first makes out from the east shore immediately above the 
mouth of the creek ; the other extends diagonally across and 
down the river from the eastern and western shore above the 
first. Both are short, and the upper one is the shoalest in the 
river. The first will require the excavation of one foot for 
fifty yards, and the other a cut of twenty-two inches for sixty 
yards, to give three feet water at the lowest stage. Amount, 
one thousand six hundred cubic yards. For four miles above 
the river it continues shoal, and will require a little excavation in 
places. The next regularly formed bar is 

Otwell bar, crossing.the river diagonally from the eastern to 
the western shore. This is one of the shoalest bars, having 
only eighteen inches of water in a dry season. The bed of the 
river consists of mud and sand into which a pole may be thrust 
to the depth of thirty feet. It will require to be cut eighteen 
inches, for one hundred and fifty yards, making two thousand 
two hundred and fifty cubic yards. 

The next obstruction is at the 

Grand Passe bars, four miles above Otwell bar. Here are 
two bars formed by a deposit of mud and sand, extending from 
the foot of a small island across the river obliquely to the west- 
ern bank, and from thence returning to the eastern shore, form- 
ing a curve. An excavation of thirty yards wide, (as all these 
excavations are proposed to be made,) and one foot deep for two 
hundred and sixty yards, in two localities, will make three feet 
water, two thousand six. hundred cubic yards. 


Six miles above Grand Passe bars, and just below Bridgeport, 
is Garrison's Island, at the head of which is a bar that will re- 
quire an excavation from six inches to one foot for about two 
hundred yards, making two thousand one hundred and twenty- 
five cubic yards. 

Little Blue River Bar is opposite the mouth of that stream, 
and two miles below the town of Florence, and will require a 
cut of six inches for four hundred yards, making two thousand 
cubic yards. 

Bevington Bar is one mile above Florence, where the chan- 
nel crosses abruptly from the eastern to the western shore, and 
will require a cut of six inches for one hundred yards, making 
five hundred cubic yards. 

Big Blue River Bar is opposite the mouth of that stream, and 
can be removed by a cut of six inches for eighty yards ; four 
hundred cubic yards. 

Mauvaise terre Bars are formed by a shoal that commences 
at Naples, and extends four miles below. The channel crosses 
this shoal four times, and will require in different places the 
excavation of three thousand and fifty cubic yards. 

Above Naples no obstruction exists for twenty-five miles, 
when we arrive at the 

Beardstown Bar. This lies about two miles below Beards- 
town, and is the worst obstruction in the whole river. A de- 
posit has been made, commencing at the foot of a large island, 
and extending obliquely down the stream for half a mile, where 
it joins the western shore. The channel is close under the 
western bank, where it crosses the bar. The water at its low- 
est stage has not exceeded fifteen inches on this bar, which 
does not extend over fifty yards, and is composed of sand. The 
quantity to be removed, amounts to one thousand cubic yards. 

Between Beardstown and Peoria, the navigation at low water, 
is very little obstructed. 

There is a small bar at the mouth of Sugar Creek, one in 
the eastern chute of Grand Island, one above Grand Island, 
one off the mouth of Copperas Creek, and one below the mouth 
of Kickapoo Creek. The excavations will be for short dis- 
tances, and from six inches to one foot, and estimated in the 


aggregate at seven thousand cubic yards. Above Peoria, the 
navigation is good until within two miles of Henry, where there 
is a shoal at the head of two islands, which will require an ex- 
cavation of six inches for one hundred yards — five hundred 
cubic yards. 

At the mouth of Sandy Creek is a gravel bar which will re- 
quire a cut of one foot for fifty yards, making five hundred 
cubic yards. About five miles below Hennepin, an excavation 
of one foot for one hundred yards will be required, making one 
thousand cubic yards. 

A shoal is found at the head of the island immediately above 
Hennepin, which will require an excavation of two thousand 
cubic yards. At the mouth of Bureau Creek, two miles above 
Hennepin, another cut of one foot per hundred yards will 
be necessary — two thousand cubic yards. 

The last obstruction is at the mouth of Spring Creek, four 
miles below Peru, where an excavation of one foot for two 
hundred and fifty yards will be required ; making two thousand 
five hundred yards. 

The total number of cubic yards of sand and mud to be ex- 
cavated, is less than forty thousand. 

The estimated cost of a dredging machine and engine com- 
plete for use, with two receiving scows, is eight thousand five 
hundred dollars. The annual expense for superintendent, en- 
gineer, and five work hands, with fuel, subsistence, repairs, &c. 
per annum, is estimated at four thousand two hundred and 
forty-five dollars. 

The State of Illinois in apportioning its anticipated internal 
improvement funds, appropriated one hundred thousand dollars 
for this river, but from the report of the United States' Engineer, 
it would seem, that after the machinery is prepared, a small an- 
nual expenditure in removing the bars and keeping the chan. 
nel clear, is all that is necessary. This river is, unquestionably, 
one of the most valuable streams for navigation of all the tribu- 
taries of the Mississippi; and, after the Illinois and Michigan 
canal is completed, and these improvements made, the com- 
merce that will pass over its waters, will not be exceeded on 
any river of its size in America. 

The commerce of this river is now extensive, and increasing 
with a rapidity known only in the rich agricultural regions of 
the western states. 

The first steamboat navigation was in 1828, during which 

34 traveler's directory 

season there were nine arrivals and departures at Naples. The 

number of arrivals and departures in 

1829 3 

1830 24 

1831 - 186 

1832, from March 4 to June 19, - - 108 

by nineteen different boats. 

The arrivals and departures at Beardstown in 

1836 were 450 

1837, at Peoria ..... 468 

According to the Peoria Register of January 26, 1839, tho 
time of the opening and the suspension of navigation by steam- 
boats at that place, as kept by a mercantile house, is as follows ; 


1834, December 30, 

1835, November 24, 

1836, December 13, 

1837, December 18, 

1838, September 4, 
from extreme low water. 


1835, March 7, 

1836, January 1, 

1837, February 22, 

1838, March 14, 

In 1838, the river opened the 6th, and continued open till 
the 18th of January, during which time, there were seven ar- 
rivals from St. Louis. 


The following table will be found sufficiently accurate for 
practical purposes of the distances, and prices of cabin and 
deck passages, freight per lOOlbs. &e., from St. Louis to the 
various landings on the Illinois river. Some variation of course 
will take place, especially at low stages of water and by different 
boats, and some deduction is usually made for large families, 
who take a cabin passage. 

Deck_passengers on all western boats furnish their own pro- 
visions and blankets or bedding, and occupy the lower or boiler 
deck in the stern. They usually assist the boat hands in tak- 
ing in wood at the wood yards. By making partitions with 
blankets, families may have retirement. Emigrating families 
frequently take deck passages 




From St. Louis to— 


Grafton, . . . 

Bushnell's Landing, 
Newport, (mouth of Apple creek,) 


Montezuma, __ 

Florence, (l'ding for Pittsficld and Winchester,) 
Phillip's Ferry, (landing for Griggsville,) 
Naples, (landing for Jacksonville,) 
Meredosia, do. do. 

Lagrange, . . . • • • 
Beardstown, (landing for Springfield, &c) 
Erie, (landine for Rushville at high water,) 
Havauna, E., (mouth of Spoon river, \V 

landing for Lewistown,) 
Liverpool, (Bailey's Island,) 
Copperas creek, (landing for Canton,) 
Pekm, (landing for Tremont,) 
Westley City, 
Peoria, .... 
Rome, (through the lake,) 

Lacon, .... 
Dorchester and Henry, . 

Peru, • . 
La Salle, (termination of the canal,) 






•2- nS 

Ota ' Oh 

m. \m c. 

26 1 50 

42 2 00 

75 3 00 

813 00 

92 3 00 

100 3 50 

106 3 50 

113 4 00 

118,4 00 

124'4 00 

133 4 50 

1455 00 

147<5 00 

172 5 
192 5 
220; 6 
223 6 
240 6 
244 6 
256 6 
268 6 
272 6 
282 7 

296 8 

297 8 
312 8 

2 50 
2 50 
2 50 
2 50 
2 50 
2 50 
2 50 

2 50 

3 00 
3 00 
3 00 
3 00 

We will now return to the mouth of this river and examine 



Passing Allen' 1 's ferry a short distance above the mouth, and 
Jones' ferry, or Point Pleasant, at the mouth of Racoon creek, 
eleven miles up, we arrive at Dr. Terry's beautiful situation on 
elevated ground, and on the borders of the Illinois prairie. 
Calhoun county lies on the west, and Greene county on the 
east side of the river. Bushnell's ferry and landing will next 
attract attention. This is one of the landings for Carrollton 
and the settlements adjacent. 

Newport, at the mouth of Apple Creek, has a ware-house, 
store, and eight or ten dwellings. Passengers destined for 
Bluffdale, Carrollton, and White Hall, will usually land here. 
At extreme high water, this place and Bushnell's, are over- 
flowed. The flourishing settlement of Bluffdale, extends at 



the foot of a range of high bluffs and perpendicular cliffs, from 
Apple Creek to the Macoupin, for ten miles. This range of 
Dluffs lie about four miles from the river, and spread out in front, 
is an extensive prairie. 

Bridgeport, called also " Hodge's Landing," is a town site 
with eight or ten buildings, where boats usually stop to dis- 
charge freight or passengers, destined to the northern part of 
Greene, or southern part of Scott county. Directly opposite 
is New Bedford. 

Montezuma is a pleasant looking town of twelve or fifteen 
houses, on the west side of the river, in Pike county. 

Florence, six miles above, and on the same side, is a good 
looking place, and a convenient landing for Pittsfield in Pike 
county, and Winchester in Scott county. 

Portland, or Phillip's ferry, has a good landing on both 
sides of the river, and is the landing for Griggsville, which i& 
four miles west. 

Three miles further up comes in the Mauvaise terre, which 
rises in the eastern part of Morgan county in three forks, and 
passes about one mile east of Jacksonville. By a singular 
misnomer by the early French explorers, this name was given 
to a stream that watered one of the richest tracts of country in 

Two miles further is the town of Naples, where passengers 
and goods are usually left for Jacksonville. From this place a 
stage leaves daily for Jacksonville and returns, and three times 
a week for Quincy. A branch of the Northern Cross Rail 
Road is now making from this place to intersect the principal 
route from Meredosia to Jacksonville, about five miles distant. 

Naples is on a level prairie, and extends up the river to a 
sand ridge. Most of the town is above the highest floods. 
Here are three public houses, several stores, three steam mills, 
a. druggist, various mechanics, and about one hundred and 
thirty families. The Presbyterians hold worship here each 
Sabbath ; other societies occasionally. Two miles above Na- 
ples, McKee's creek comes in from the west. 

Meredosia, (anglicised from the French of Marais d' Ogee,) 
six miles above Naples, is destined to become a place of con- 
siderable importance, as the crossing place of the Northern 
Cross Rail Road. This will give it direct communication with 


the Mississippi at Quincy, and with the Wabash and Erie Ca- 
nal through Jacksonville, Springfield, Decatur, and Danville. 
About five miles of this Rail Road are completed, and a loco- 
motive and cars placed thereon. 

Meredosia is situated on an elevated sand ridge, and has a 
good landing at ordinary stages of the water. Here are two or 
three steam mills, several stores, and about seventy-five families. 

About nine miles further up is the town of Lagrange, which 
like many other town sites on this river, is submerged from high 
waters. It is a landing of some importance, and the bottom 
lands being but about one hundred and fifty yards in width, 
and bounded by handsome and elevated bluffs, a town may 
yet be built up here. Equidistant from this landing and Beards, 
town, comes in Crooked Creek from the west. 

Beardstown is situated on the east bank of the river, twenty, 
five miles northwest from Jacksonville, and in Cass county. It 
is on elevated ground, sandy soil, and entirely above the high, 
est floods. It has thirteen stores, four of which do commission 
and forwarding business, three groceries, two druggists, four 
physicians, one large hotel, and several boarding houses, two 
bakeries, two shoemakers, three tailors, two blacksmiths, two 
cabinet makers, one silversmith, one watchmaker, four car- 
penters and house-joiners, three cooper shops, one painter and 
glazier, two tinners, two brick and one stone masons, one car- 
riage maker, two steam flouring mills, with six pairs of stones, 
one steam sawmill, one steam distillery, and a large brewery, 
one lawyer, one minister of the gospel, and about one thousand 
inhabitants. There is a Methodist and an Episcopalian con- 
gregation, but no house of worship. 

Canal project. A company has been chartered and sur- 
veys made preparatory to the construction of a canal from this 
place to Sangamon river, at Huron, and from thence to im- 
prove the river by slack water navigation to the head. And 
it has been ascertained, that a water communication may be 
opened, at moderate expense, across the state to the Vermilion 
of the Wabash. The construction of that portion of the canal 
from Beardstown to the Sangamon river can be easily effected. 

Passengers, goods, &c. destined for Springfield will be dis- 
charged here, and stages usually run daily during navigation. 
If the opposite bottom is not submerged, this is the landing also 
for Rushville, Macomb, and the surrounding regions. At high 

38 traveler's directory 

water, passengers will proceed to Erie, two and a half miles 
further up, and on the west bank of the river. Here, too, at 
extreme high water, some difficulty may exist about communi- 
cations with the interior country. 

The next point deserving notice is the mouth of Sugar Creek, 
which enters from the west side. About one mile up this creek, 
on both sides, and on elevated ground, is Schuyler City, con- 
taining a dozen houses, and is to be the depot of the Rushville 
Rail Road, for the construction of which considerable prepara- 
tions have been made. This is eight miles from Rushville. 
Sugar Creek is navigable at all times for steamboats to this 
spot. In its immediate vicinity are five grist and sawmills, 
many fine springs of water, abundance of lime and sand stone 
for building purposes, bituminous coal, and rich mines of iron 
oar. Hence, this place deserves the attention of business men. 

Passing the mouth of Sangamon river, and one or two land- 
ings, and occasionally a wood yard, for a stretch of twenty miles, 
we come to Chodes' landing near the southern boundary of 
Fulton county. Ten miles further, and directly opposite the 
mouth of Spoon River is 

Havanna. It has an eligible situation on a high sand ridge, 
fifty feet above the highest floods of the river. It is on section 
one, township twenty-one north, in range nine west of the third 
principal meridian. 

Havanna is well situated to receive the produce and direct 
the trade of a pretty extensive country on both sides of the Illi- 
nois River, and is on the great thoroughfare from Indiana, by 
Danville and Bloomington, to. the counties that lie to the west 
and north. 

Spoon River has been navigated by steamboats, following its 
meanderings, fifteen miles to Waterford, and a few thousand 
dollars judiciously expended, would open a regular navigation 
to Bernadotte. 

Liverpool, ten miles further, is an elevated and handsome 
position, entirely above the highest floods. This site was for- 
merly called "Bailey's Island," from being surrounded in the 
rear by a slough at high water, over which a causeway, or 
Levee, is proposed to be constructed. A charter for a rail road 
has been granted, from this place by Canton to Knoxville. 

Copperas Creek landing will next be noticed. Here is a 
warehouse made of a log cabin, and a family residence, but is 


overflown at high wafer. Two miles up the creek, at the bluffs, 
are mills and a town site. 

Passing the mouth of the Mackinau, we arrive next to 
Pekin, situated on the east side of the river, in Tazewell county, 
on high ground, and on the borders of sand prairie, a beautiful 
tract. Goods and passengers destined to Tremont, Blooming, 
ton, and in general, through Tazewell and McLean counties, 
will be landed here. This place also receives a branch of the 
Rail Road now under contract from Bloomington to the Illinois 
River. The other branch goes from Mackinau to Peoria. 

Pekin contains twelve stores, three groceries, two taverns, 
(and a splendid hotel building by a company,) seven lawyers, four 
physicians, four ministers of the gospel, one drug store, three 
forwarding and commission houses, two houses for slaughter- 
ing and packing pork, one auction house, and about eight hun- 
dred inhabitants. 

There is also one steam flouring mill that manufactures two 
hundred barrels of flour per day, a steam saw mill and two 
steam distilleries, an academy and a common school. 

The religious denominations are Presbyterians, Methodist 
and Unitarian, which have houses of worship. 

Seven miles further, and directly opposite the mouth of 
Kickapoo Creek, is the town of Westley City, on the site of 
the old Indian trading house. It has a steam mill, and from 
twenty-five to thirty houses. 

Three miles further, we arrive at Peoria, the situation of 
which for beauty cannot be exaggerated by any of the de- 
scriptions given. The following description is from the Gazet- 
teer of Illinois. 

Peoria, the seat of justice for Peoria county, situated on the 
west bank of the Illinois River, on section nine, eight north, 
eight east, and formerly called Fort Clark. 

Prom a report made by Edward Coles, Esq. formerly gover- 
nor of Illinois, to the Secretary of the treasury, it may be learned, 
" The old village of Peoria was situated one mile and a half 
above the lower extremity or outlet of the Peoria Lake. This 
village had been inhabited by the French previous to the re- 
collection of the present generation. About the year 1778 or 
1779, the first house was built in what was then called La 
Ville de Maillet, afterwards the new village of Peoria, and 
which has recently been known by the name of Fort Clark, 
situated about one mile and a half below the old village, im- 

40 traveler's directory 

mediately at the lower point, or outlet of the lake. The situa- 
tion being preferred on account of the water being better, and 
its being thought more healthy, the inhabitants gradually de- 
serted the old village, and by the year J.79G or 1797, had en- 
tirely abandoned it, and removed to the new one. 

" The inhabitants of Peoria consisted generally of Indian 
traders, hunters and voyagers, and had long formed a link of 
connection between the French residing on the great lakes and 
the Mississippi River. From that happy felicity of adapting 
themselves to their situation and associates, for which the 
French are so remarkable, the inhabitants of Peoria lived gene- 
rally in harmony with their savage neighbors. It appears, 
however, that about the year 1781, they were induced to aban- 
don the village from an apprehension of Indian hostility ; but 
soon after the peace of 1783, they again returned, and continued 
to reside there until the autumn of 1812, when they were forci- 
bly removed from it, and the place destroyed by a Captain 
Craig, of the Illinois militia, on the ground, it was said, that his 
company of militia was fired on in the night, while at anchor 
in their boats before the village, by Indians, with whom the in- 
habitants were suspected by Craig to be too intimate and 

The inhabitants being thus driven from the place, fled to the 
French settlements on the Mississippi for shelter. 

In 1813, Peoria was occupied by the United States troops, 
and a block house erected and called Fort Clark. The timber 
was cut on the opposite side of the lake, and with considerable 
labor transported across, and hauled on truck wheels by the 

After the termination of the war, Fort Clark was abandoned, 
and the buildings soon after burnt by the Indians. 

The present town is near its ruins. 

Without intending to do injustice to several other beautiful 
town sites along the upper parts of the Illinois River, amongst 
which is Pekin, Hennepin, the foot of the rapids, Ottawa, &c. 
I shall copy from Beck's Gazetteer, the following description of 

"The situation of this place is beautiful beyond description. 
From the mouth of the Kickapoo, or Redbud Creek, which 
empties into the Illinois two miles below the old fort, the allu- 
vion is a prairie which stretches itself along the river three or 
four miles. 


" The shore is chiefly made up of rounded pebbles, and is 
filled with springs of the finest water. 'J 'he first bank, which 
is from six to twelve feet above high water mark, extends west 
about a quarter of a mile from the river, gradually ascending, 
when it rises five or six feet to the second bank. This extends 
nearly on a level to the bluffs, which are from sixty to one 
hundred feet in height. These bluffs consist of rounded peb- 
bles, overlaying strata of lime stone and sand stone, rounded at 
the top, and corresponding in their course with the meanders 
of the river and lake. The ascent, although steep, is not per- 
pendicular. On the bluffs the surface again becomes level, and 
is beautifully interspersed with prairie and woodland. 

" From the bluffs the prospect is uncommonly fine. Look- 
ing towards the east you first behold an extensive prairie, which, . 
in spring and summer, is covered with grass, with whose green 
the brilliant hues of a thousand flowers form the most lively con- 
trast. Beyond this, the lake, clear and calm, may be seen 
emptying itself into, or by its contraction forming the river, 
whose meanders, only hid from the view by the beautiful groves 
of timber, which here and there arise, can be traced to the 
utmost extent of vision." 

Peoria is now rapidly advancing in population and improve- 
ments. In the summer of 1833, it consisted of about twenty- 
five families. These more than doubled in a few weeks from 

Peoria now has twenty-five stores, two wholesale and five 
retail groceries, two drug stores, two hotels and several board- 
ing houses, two free schools and an incorporated academy, two 
Presbyterian houses of worship and congregations, one Me- 
thodist, one Baptist, one Unitarian, and one Episcopal congre- 
gation, six lawyers, eight or ten physicians, one brewery, two 
steam sawmills, the usual proportion of mechanics, a court 
house and jail, and a population from fifteen to eighteen hun- 
dred, and rapidly increasing. The " Peoria Register and North- 
western Gazetteer" is issued weekly, by S.M. Davis, Esq. Stages 
leave here daily, tri- weekly, and weekly, in various directions. 

Passing through Peoria Lake already described, we arrive at 
Home, on its western border, consisting of a dozen or fifteen 
houses, and four miles further, at the head of the Lake, is the 
town of Chillicothe of about thirty houses. 

La Salle prairie, is a beautiful, undulating, and rich tract of 
prairie, spread around for several miles. 


Lacon is a handsome town of fifty good looking houses, with 
its proportion of stores, taverns, steam mills, &c, and will pro- 
bably be the seat of justice for the new county of Marshall. It 
has rich and flourishing settlements back. 

Dorchester, Henry and Webster, are three town sites crowd- 
ed near each other on the west side of the river, and from five 
to eight miles above Lacon. Their sites are elevated and 
beautiful. The next town is Hennepin, the seat of justice for 
Putnam county, on the east bank of the Illinois, and on the 
borders of De Prue prairie. 

Its situation is elevated, the surface gently ascending from 
the river with an extensive body of rich land adjacent. 

The bottom opposite is about one mile and a half wide, and 
overflowed in high water. 

This town was laid off in 1831, and contains ten stores, four 
groceries, three taverns, three lawyers, four physicians, Pres- 
byterian and Methodist congregations, court house and jail, a 
good school, and four hundred and seventy-five inhabitants. 
Steamboats ascend to this place at a moderate stage of water. 

Peru is the next landing of any importance. This place is 
situated on the north bank of the river, and one mile below the 
termination of the canal from Chicago. The bluffs rise some- 
what abruptly, but the situation is good. Peru contains several 
stores, two or three public houses, and from twenty-five to thirty 
dwellings. Nearly opposite is a large island in the river. At 
a low stage of water boats go no higher. The city of La Salle 
has been laid off by the authority of the state at the termination 
of the canal. A steamboat harbor and a large basin for canal 
boats, are to be made next season at this point. Here, too, will 
be the great crossing place of the Central Rail Road. Hence, 
this must soon become a place of great business. 

A passage from this point, at a proper stage of water, to Otta- 
wa, will afford much interest to the traveler. He will notice 
one mile above La Salle, and at the junction of the Little Ver- 
milion with the Illinois, the beautiful and elevated site of Rock- 
well, one hundred feet above the river, and containing a num- 
ber of neat white houses, nearly opposite the mouth of the 
Big Vermilion of the Illinois. 

The Starved Rock is on the south side of the river, and near 
the foot of the rapids. It is a perpendicular mass of lime and 
eand stones, washed by the current at its base, and elevated one 


hundred and fifty feet. The diameter of its surface is about 
one hundred feet, with a slope extending to the adjoining bluff, 
from which alone it is accessible. 

Tradition says, that after the Illinois Indians had killed Pon- 
tiac, the French governor at Detroit, the northern Indians made 
war upon them. A band of the Illinois, in attempting to escape, 
took shelter on this rock, which they soon made inaccessible to 
their enemies, and where they were closely besieged. They 
had secured provisions, but their only resource for water was 
by letting down vessels with bark ropes to the river. The wily 
besiegers contrived to come in canoes under the rock and cut 
off their buckets, by which means the unfortunate Illinois were 
starved to death. Many years after, their bones were whiten- 
ing on this summit. 

Passing onward, the boatman may point out the site of the 
town of Utica, on the north bank, containing two houses. 

Buffaloe Rock is a singular promontory on the north side of 
the Illinois River, in La Salle county, six miles below Ottawa. 
It rises one hundred feet, nearly perpendicular, on three sides, 
and contains on its surface about six hundred acres of timber 
and prairie. 

We now arrive at Ottawa, divided into three parts by the 
Illinois and Fox rivers. 

Ottawa is the seat of justice for La Salle county, and was 
laid off by the canal commissioners, in 1830, at the junction of 
Fox River with the Illinois, and is thought by many to be an 
important location for business. 

It is laid off on both sides of the Illinois River, on the entire 
section numbered eleven, and in township thirty-three north, in 
range three east of the third principle meridian. 

At the town site, the water of the Illinois is deep, and the 
landing convenient. Steamboats reach this place in the spring, 
and at other seasons when the water is high. 

Below, for the distance of eight or nine miles, are rapids and 
shoals formed by barriers of sand and lime stone rock. 

Ottawa has three or four public houses, a dozen stores, three 
physicians, five lawyers, mechanics of various descriptions, and 
about one hundred and fifty houses, and from ten to twelve 
hundred inhabitants. 

Large additions have been made to the town plat, by laying 
off additional lots on lands adjoining. A lateral canal from 
the Illinois and Michigan canal will pass through the town to 

44 traveler's directory 

the Illinois River. This by means of a feeder to the rapids of 
Fox River will open a navigation into Kane county. Fox River 
is susceptible of improvement by slack water, at small expense, 
into the Wisconsin territory, and from thence by a short canal 
of fifteen miles may become connected with Milwaukee. Hence, 
Ottawa may be regarded as one of the most important sites for 
commercial business in the state. Near it, dams are already 
projected across the Illinois River, and immense water power 
thus created. 

The country around is pleasant, undulating, and well adapted 
to farming. The timber is in small quantities, chiefly in groves ; 
the prairie land generally dry, and rich soil. 

Lime, and coarse free stone, in great abundance. 

The feeder to the canal from Fox River, connected to the Illi- 
nois by a lateral canal at this place, will open a water commu- 
nication of immense importance, and create a vast hydraulic 

The chief engineer, Mr. Gooden, in his report to the canal 
commissioners in 1836, remarks : 

" The fall from top water line of canal to low water of Fox 
River, where the main [canal] line crosses, is thirty- seven feet ; 
and it is supposed that five thousand cubic feet of water, per 
minute, may here be drawn from the canal for hydraulic pur- 
poses. This will give a power at Ottawa sufficient, at least, to 
drive forty pairs of millstones of four and a half feet in diameter." 
The Ottawa Hydraulic Company have a valuable water power 
on the Illinois, one fourth of a mile above Ottawa. 

I shall now notice the largest streams that enter the Illinois. 

Kankakee, one of the principal streams that form the Illinois 
River. It rises in the northern part of Indiana, near the south 
bend of the St. Joseph's River, runs a westerly course into Illi- 
nois, where it receives the Iroquois, and forms a junction with 
the Des Plaines, in section thirty-five, township thirty-four north, 
and in range, eight east from the third principal meridian. Here 
is a large body of fine timber, but along the Kankakee there is 
very little timber. It runs swiftly, and has a lime stone bed. 

At the ford of the Vincennes and Chicago road it is two- 
hundred yards wide. This is one hundred and seventy-eight 
miles north of Vincennes, and forty-seven miles south of Chi- 
cago. The prairie country through which it passes is generally 
of good soil, gently undulating, and interspersed with sand 


ridges. Navigation for small craft can be effected through the 
Kankakee and St. Joseph. 

This river was discovered by the French at a very early period, 
and was one of the principal routes to the Illinois country. Its 
aboriginal name was Theakiki, or as pronounced in French, 
Te-au-kee-kee, which by the fatality attendant upon many of 
the aboriginal names carried through French into English, has 
become fixed in the sound and orthography of Kan-ka-kee. 

Iroquois, (Riviere des Iroquois, Fr.,) a considerable river 
which rises in the northwestern part of Indiana, and taking a 
northwest course, flows into the Kankakee River, and thus 
forms one of the heads of the Illinois. It received its name 
from the circumstance of a large party of the Iroquois Indians 
being surprised and massacred on its banks by the Illinois na- 
tion. The Kickapoos called it Mocabella. Others have called 
it Canawaga. It is probably the same stream that the com- 
missioners for settling the boundary between Illinois and Indi- 
ana called Pickaminck. It crosses the boundary line in town- 
ship twenty-seven north, where its width is one hundred and 
seventy-five links. The country through which it passes will 
soon be covered with settlements, the surface being fine and 
undulating, the soil rather inclined to sand, dry and rich, and 
the timber abundant. Sugar Creek is a principal branch. 

Des Plaines River, (Riviere des Plaines, Fr.,) rises in the 
Wisconsin territory, a few miles above the boundary line of 
Illinois, and about six miles from Lake Michigan. It runs a 
south course, generally over a bed of lime stone rock, and 
forms one of the prominent branches of the Illinois River, by 
its junction with the Kankakee. 

Groves of timber are found on its banks, and interspersed 
through the vast prairie region. The country along its borders 
is rapidly populating, notwithstanding the apparent deficiency 
of timber. 

In many places along the Des Plaines, rock may be easily 
obtained both for fencing and building. The country is well 
watered, the streams perennial, and the soil rich, and covered 
with a luxuriant herbage. It is frequently written and pro. 
nounced Aux Plaines or O'Plane. 

Du Page, (Riviere du Page, Fr.,) a beautiful stream in 
Cook county. It rises in two forks, which unite in the settle. 


ment of Fountaindale. One fork rises near the Des Plaines, 
and runs a western course, and forms a junction with the other 
fork, which rises towards Fox River. After the junction, it 
runs a southwestern course through groves and prairies, and 
enters the Des Plaines three miles above its junction with the 
Kankakee. There are large settlements on this stream at 
Walker's grove and Fountaindale. 

Au Sable, (Fr. sandy — gravelly.) a small stream in the 
eastern part of La Salle county. It rises near the west fork of 
Du Page, runs south, mostly through prairie, and enters the 
Illinois three miles below the junction of the Des Plaines and 

Vermilion River of the Illinois, rises in Livingstone county, 
through which it passes into La Salle county, and enters the 
Illinois near the foot of the rapids. Towards its head the sur- 
face is tolerably level, with a rich soil, large prairies, and but 
small quantities of timber. Towards the Illinois its bluffs be- 
come abrupt, often one hundred feet high, with rocky banks 
and frequent rapids and falls. It is an excellent mill stream, 
about fifty yards wide, and runs through extensive beds of 
bituminous coal. Its bluffs contain immense quarries of lime, 
sand and some free stone, excellent for grind stones. The timber 
upon its banks are oaks of various kinds, walnut, ash, sugar 
maple, hickory, &c. 

Little Vermilion rises in the prairies west of Fox River, runs 
south, and enters the Illinois near the foot of the rapids. Just 
below is the termination of the canal, and the site of a great 
commercial town. - 

Its Indian namc^is Pe-cumsauk-in, or Tomahawk. 

Bureau Creek rises in the northern part of Bureau county, 
runs southwest, receives Little Bureau, turns thence southeast, 
and enters the Illinois River nearly opposite Hennepin. It is a 
fine mill stream, with a bold current, rock, gravel, and sand in 
its bottom, and receives a number of branches. About the bluffs 
of the Illinois the surface of the land is broken, but in general 
it is excellent the whole length of the stream. Between its 
branches are fine prairies, undulating, rich and dry, and along 
its borders is much excellent timber. 

The Kickapoo Creek is in Peoria county, and designated on 
the map with sufficient accuracy. On its branches there is 


much valuable land, with groves, points of timber, large prai- 
ries, and considerable tracts of " barrens." 

Near the main creek is much valuable timber, and the sur- 
face is quite hilly. 

The next is the Mackinau, a navigable stream in Tazewell 
county. It rises in the prairie near the centre of McLean 
county, and after receiving several small branches, runs south- 
westwardly through Tazewell county, and enters the Illinois 
three miles below Pekin. 

It is a clear stream, and has Little Mackinau, Rock, Walnut, 
and Panther Creeks for its branches. The Mackinau bottoms 
are rich, but its bluffs are very broken, thin soil, from one to 
two miles in width, and the timber chiefly white oak, and some 
cedar. The prairies adjoining are rolling, dry, and tolerably 
good. Towards its head the land is less broken, timber various, 
and soil rich. It has a number of mill seats. 

A few miles above its mouth, the Mackinau loses its channel 
in a swamp where there is a small lake. 

Spoon River next deserves notice. It has three principal 
heads or " Forks," designated as the East, West, and South 

The East Fork rises in fifteen north, six east, runs south, 
through townships fourteen, thirteen and twelve, of the same 
range, where it turns west, and meets the West fork, receiving 
in its course a number of smaller streams. There is much ex- 
cellent land on this fork and its branches ; prairie predominates, 
but it is generally dry and rich, with groves and points of tim- 
ber, and many fine springs. 

The West Fork, rises in the southeast part of Henry county, 
in township fourteen north, five east, runs a southeasterly 
course, and unites with the East fork near the township line 
between four and five east. The country adjoining is similar 
to that on the East fork, except that the surface is more undu- 
lating. The timber is. good, and in considerable bodies. Near 
the junction of these streams is much excellent timber, with a 
strip of fertile prairie between. Here is a considerable settle- 
ment, a grist and saw mill, and a large grove called Oceola 
Grove. A town site of the same name, with one inhabitant, 
exists here. 

South Fork of Spoon River rises in Warren county, near 
the head of Ellison Creek, runs a southeasterly course, and 


unites with the main stream in section four, township eight 
north, range two east. 

Some of the best land in the state lies on this stream. This 
is frequently called West Fork. 

After the union of these forks, the general course of this 
river is south till within a few miles of its mouth, when it takes 
a southeasterly course and enters the Illinois in section thirty, 
three, four north, four east, directly opposite Havanna. 

This stream is navigated for several miles, and, at a trifling 
expense, in clearing out the trees and rafts of timber, it might 
be made navigable for one half of the year to the forks. 

Large bodies of timber of the best quality line the banks of 
this stream, and the soil in general is inferior to none. 

The main river and several of its tributaries furnish excellent 
mill seats. The prairies adjacent are generally undulating, dry, 
and fertile. 

Above the mouth of Spoon River is a large lake on the west 
side of the Illinois. 

The Sangamon River is a prominent branch of the Illinois. 
It rises in Champaign county, in the most elevated region of 
that portion of the state, and near the head waters of the two 
Vermilions and the Kaskaskia Rivers. It waters Sangamon 
and Macon counties, and parts of Tazewell, McLean, Mont- 
gomery, Shelby, and Champaign counties. Its general course 
is northwesterly. Besides a number of smaller streams, as 
Clary's Rock, Richland, Prairie, Spring, Lick, Sugar, Horse, 
and Brush Creeks, on the south side, and Crane, Cantrill's, 
Fancy, Wolf Creeks, and other streams on the north side, its 
three principal heads are Salt Creek, North Fork, and South 

Salt Creek rises in McLean county, twenty-two north, 
ranges four and five east, and runs a westerly course, after re- 
ceiving Kickapoo and Sugar Creeks, and several smaller ones, 
it enters the Sangamon River, in the northwest part of town- 
ship nineteen north, range six west. Its two principal heads 
are called the North Fork of Salt Creek, and Lake Fork of 
Salt Creek. 

North Fork, which may be regarded as the main stream, 
rises in Champaign county, near the heads of the Vermilion 
River of the Illinois, the Vermilion of the Wabash, ana the 
Kaskaskia, in twenty-four north, seven east, in a small lake. 


It runs soutnwesterly, then south, then west and receives South 
Fork and Salt Creek. 

The South Fork of Sangamon rises by several branches, in 
the northwestern part of Shelby, and the northeastern part of 
Montgomery counties, runs a southeastern course, and forms a 
junction with the North Fork in sixteen north, four west, seven 
miles east from Springfield. 

Sangamon River and its branches flow through one of the 
richest and most delightful portions of the Great West. Com- 
plaints are made of the extent of the prairies, but this offers no 
serious inconvenience for the present. These prairies for many 
years will afford range for thousands of cattle. The general 
aspect of the country on the Sangamon is level, yet it is suffi- 
ciently undulating to permit the water to escape to the creeks. 
It will soon constitute one of the richest agricultural districts in 
the United States, the soil being of such a nature that immense 
crops can be raised with little agricultural labor. 

The Sangamon is navigable for steamboats of the smaller 
class to the junction of the North and South Forks, and, with 
a little labor in clearing out the drift wood, each principal fork 
may be navigated with flat boats for a long distance. In the 
spring of 1832, a steamboat of the larger class, arrived within 
five miles of Springfield, and discharged its cargo. At a small 
expense in clearing out the logs, and cutting the stooping trees, 
this river would be navigable for steamboats half the year. 
From a bend near the mouth of Clary's Creek, fifty miles above 
the mouth of the Sangamon, the waters find a channel through 
the low grounds and sloughs to the vicinity of Beardstown, so 
that keel-boats can pass in this direction into the Sangamon. 
It is thought, that with small expense, a communication might 
be opened in this direction. The improvement of the naviga- 
tion of this river by slack water, the connection with Beards- 
town by a canal, and the opening a navigable water communi- 
cation across the state by this route, have already been sug- 

Crooked Creek, on the military tract, from its size, length, 
and number of its branches, should be called a river ; but it is 
not our province to make or alter names. The term " creek" 
is applied to this stream in the vocabulary' of the country. It 
rises in numerous branches in McDonough and Hancock 
counties, and near the borders of Warren, runs a southern 

50 traveler's directory 

course through McDonough and Schuyler counties, and enters 
the Illinois in section thirteen, one south, one west, six miles 
below Beardstown. It can easily be made navigable some dis- 
tance. No better land can be found in Illinois than the coun. 
try in general watered by this stream ; and the many small 
tributaries emptying into it from the east and west not only 
afford many mill seats, but apportion the timber and prairie so 
nearly equal as to render almost every tract capable of imme- 
diate settlement. 

The country generally on Crooked Creek is gently undula. 
ting, dry soil, inexhaustibly rich, and where timber exists, it is 
of excellent quality. Here are found oaks of different species, 
walnut, sugar maple, linden, hackberry, hickory, cherry, honey 
locust, mulberry, elm, ash, and various other growth common 
to the state. The soil is an argillaceous mould, from one to 
four feet deep. Near the mouth of Crooked Creek is an ex- 
tensive bottom on the Illinois, inundated in high water, but af- 
fording an extensive range for stock during the greatest part of 
the year. 

Bituminous coal is found in great abundance along this 
stream and its tributaries, with several quarries of free stone. 

McKee's Creek, in the military tract, enters the Illinois River, 
in the northeast part o{ Pike county, in township three south, 
in range two west of the fourth principal meridian. It is made 
up of three principal branches, known by the names of North, 
Middle and West forks. 

North Fork, which is the longest branch, rises in Adams 
county, near the base line, in range five west, runs a devious 
course into Brown county, and receives a number of small 
tributaries. Its general course to the Illinois River is south- 

Middle Fork originates near the boundary of Pike and 
Brown counties, and enters the west fork a few miles above its 
junction with the main stream. 

West Fork rises in the northern part of Pike county, where 
it interlocks with the waters that fall into the Mississippi, and 
after running an eastern course, joins the main stream a few 
miles above its mouth. The land on McKee's Creek and 
branches is excellent, suitably proportioned into timber and 
prairie, which is gently undulating and rich. The settlements 


already are large, and population is increasing from emigration. 
The same obstruction to rapid settlement exists here as in all 
portions of the military tract. Much good land is held by non- 
residents. Could the land all be had at a reasonable price, this 
tract of country would soon be overspread with large farms. 

The Mauvaise terre has already been noticed in connection 
with Naples. The country on its borders for fertility of soil, 
timber and prairie duly proportioned, and good water, is un- 

Apple Creek rises near the borders of Sangamon county, 
runs a southwestern course through the southeastern part of 
Morgan into Greene county, and enters the Illinois river in 
section thirty-six, fractional township eleven north, fourteen 
west. It has several tributaries, which are noticed under their 
respective names, and which water a valuable tract of country, 
with a large population. 

Macoupin Creek, is a considerable stream that rises in the 
north part of Montgomery county ; runs southwesterly, passes 
through Greene county, and enters the Illinois river twenty-six 
miles above its junction with the Mississippi. 

Its branches are Phill's, Dry Fork, Bear and Hodge's creeks, 
and Lake Fork. 

The country along its banks is generally fertile, suitably pro- 
portioned into timber and prairie, and has a line of settlements 
through Macoupin and Greene counties. 

Macoupin is aboriginal, and in all the French authors spelled 
Ma-qua-pin ; but it has become legalised on the statute books 
of the state, in the uncouth form given at the head of this arti- 
cle, and usually pronounced by the people Ma-goo-pin. 

This word is said to be the Indian name of a vegetable with 
a large round leaf, growing in the lakes and ponds of Illinois, 
called by some people " splatter-dock," and found plentifully 
near this stream. 

The large roots of this plant, if eaten raw, are very delete- 
rious. The Indians, in early times, dug holes in the earth, 
which they walled with stone, and after heating them with 
large fires, put in the roots, covered them with earth, and in 
two days the rank poisonous taste was gone. They were then 
put on poles, and dried for food. In this form they were eaten 
by the natives, 



In passing up the Mississippi river, from the mouth of the 
Illinois, the first navigable water on the Illinois side is Bay 
creek, which has a wide^ and navigable slough, extending 
nearly to the site of Belleview, which includes a store, post 
office, and one or two dwelling houses. Bay creek, as will be 
seen from the map, rises near Griggsville, and meanders a 
southern course through Pike county into Calhoun. 

The next water course is Sni-carty slough, in Pike county, 
which is navigable for steamboats. This is a corruption of the 
French Chenail-ecarte — the " cut off," or " lost channel," and 
is an arm of the Mississippi. It is a running water at all 
stages of the river, and for several months furnishes steamboat 
navigation to Atlas. It leaves the Mississippi in section nine- 
teen, three south, eight west, in Adams county, enters it again 
in Calhoun county, section seven, eight south, four west, and 
runs from one to five miles from the main river. It is about 
fifty miles in length. The land on the island is of first rate 
alluvion, proportioned into timber and prairie, but subject to 
annual inundations. 

In township six north, six west, it approaches the Mississippi 
within one mile. Here it is proposed to unite it by a lock and 
6hort canal, and open navigation direct to Rockport, near the 
bluffs, where is a town site and some valuable mills. A com- 
pany has been chartered to effect this improvement. 

Clarksville, Mo., will be noticed as opposite the mouth of 
this slough, and Louisiana ten miles higher up. 

Salt River comes in from the Missouri side, a short distance 
above Louisiana. 

Passing on, the first town we arrive at on the Illinois side, is 

Quincy, the seat of justice for Adams county. The land- 
ing is on the river, where are located a few houses, groceries, 
warehouses for storage, &c. The town is chiefly on the bluff, 
handsomely situated, and makes an interesting appearance. 
The court-house, and a spacious hotel, erected by an incor- 
porated company, will attract attention. 

Quincy has eight or ten stores, a large steam mill, and a pro- 
portionate supply of the mechanical and liberal professions. 
Here terminates the Northern Cross Rail Road, from the east- 
ern side of the state, via Springfield, Jacksonville and Mere- 


dosia. Stages leave here three times a week for Jacksonville, 
and once in a week for other points. 

The U. S. Land Office, for the entry of Congress lands in 
the Military Tract, is situated here. Here, also, is to be found 
the office for the sale of the lands of the Boston, New York, 
and Illinois Great Land Company, and agency offices for the 
sale of other lands, are also to be found here. 

Opposite Quincy in Missouri, is a low and timbered bottom, 
inundated in high water. The population of Quincy will equal 
about 1500. If? 

Warsaw is an important commercial position, on the Mis- 
sissippi river, at the foot of the Des Moines Rapids, 16 miles 
west-southwest from Carthage. It has a steam mill, several 
stores, and 800 inhabitants, and is to be the termination of 
the rail road from Peoria. It is the site of old Fort Edwards. 

A few miles above Warsaw, commence the Lower Rapids 
of the Mississippi, the navigation of which is in progress of im- 
provement by the national government. These rapids, in de- 
scending the river, commence near Commerce, and terminate 
about four miles above the mouth of the River Des Moines — a 
distance of eleven miles. The entire fall of water, according 
to the survey of Lieut.' R. E. Lee, of the U. S. Topograpical En- 
gineers, is twenty-four feet. The river here runs over an irre- 
gular bed of blue lime stone, which extends from shore to shore, 
and is covered with water at all seasons. In places are deep 
pools, while intervening, at a low stage of water, are reefs 
and points of rocks, that impede the navigation. Hence the 
method of improvement commenced, is to cut off these points, 
and deepen the channel over the reefs, which can only be done 
when the water is at a low stage. This work was commenced, 
and considerable progress made therein, the last season. The 
estimated rock excavation by the engineer is 94,811 cubit 
yards, and the cost, $189,622. 

About ten miles above the rapids, and on the west bank of 
the river, is situated the rapidly thriving town of Fort Madison, 
in the Iowa Territory. The position is elevated from twenty- 
five to a hundred feet above the highest floods, a beautifully 
undulating surface, sandy soil, and commands an extensive 
view up and down the river. The country in the rear is ad- 
mirably adapted to farming purposes. Much of it is high, dry, 
undulating and rich prairie, with ample supplies of timber. 

54 traveler's directory 

The town contains about 600 inhabitants, and building Iota 
command from $400 to $600. 

The site of Fort Madison was selected by Gen. Z. M. Pike 
for a military post in 1805, but it was not occupied until 1808. 
During the war of the United States with Great Britain, in 
1812-15, all the hordes of northern Indians of the Mississippi 
and Illinois were in league with Great Britain, and the garrison 
at this place were constantly harassed by the savage enemy. 
In 1813, after sustaining a severe siege, the fort was evacuated 
and burned by the troops, and they retired down the river 
about twenty-five miles, and built Fort Edwards on the bluff 
adjoining Warsaw, where it now stands. 

Appanooce is situated on the Illinois side, in sight and near- 
ly opposite Fort Madison. 

About fifteen miles above comes in Skunk river from the 
west, and a few miles further is the town of Burlington, the 
temporary seat of government of the Iowa Territory. 

Burlington is well situated for a commercial town, and has 
an extensive back country, rapidly populating for its commerce. 
The surface of Burlington is undulating and elevated. Its 
population about 1500. 

Oquawka is a landing and town site in Monmouth county, 
a few miles above the mouth of Henderson river. Its situation 
is on a sand ridge, that extends from Henderson river to the 
Mississippi, and is the landing for Monmouth and Knox 

Pope's River enters the Mississippi near the southwestern 
corner of Mercer county. Edwards River enters about five 
miles above, and New Boston, a handsome town site, two and 
a half miles further. Nearly opposite New Boston, the Iowa 
river enters the Mississippi, which gives name to the territory 
opposite. The Iowa is navigable to Cedar Fork for steam- 
boats at a reasonable stage of water, and with improvements, 
doubtless, will become navigable to the interior of the Territory. 

The Muscatine slough puts out from the Mississippi, on the 
west side, a little below Bloomington, and enters again a short 
distance above the Iowa. 

Opposite the mouth of Rock river, is the town site of Rock- 
ingham, and four miles above is Davenport, the seat of justice 
for Scott county on the Iowa side. 


Stephenson, the seat of justice of Rock Island county in 
Illinois, is directly opposite of the foot of Rock Island. Here 
is a beautiful situation for a town site, a good landing, &c. 

Rock Island, which gives name to the county, is three and 
a half miles long, and from one half to one mile wide, with a 
lime stone base. The rock on two sides is perpendicular, 
twenty feet above the highest floods of the river, and forms a 
protection wall to the island. Fort Armstrong is situated at its 
lower end. The site is beautiful, and the prospect from its 
summit, variegated and delightful. 

The Upper, or Rock River Rapids, terminate at the foot of 
Rock Island, and extend fourteen miles to the town sites of 
Parkhurst on the west, and Port Byron on the east side. Milan 
is a town site on the east side, about equidistant from the head 
to the foot of the rapids. 

Campbell's Island is about one and a fourth mile long, and 
is situated near the Illinois shore, a short distance below 

The descent of the Mississippi at these rapids, is twenty-five 
and three quarter feet, over a rocky bed, broken by reefs, 
which in places extend quite across the river. The depth of 
the water in the channel is generally sufficient for the passage 
of boats ; but the projecting points of rocks, the short turns, 
and the narrow passes, render the navigation difficult and dan- 
gerous at a low stage of water. The agents of the United 
States government are-engaged in removing these obstructions, 
and opening a free channel for navigation. The work con- 
sists in rock excavation to the amount of about 78,000 cubic 
yards, at the estimated cost of $154,658. 

Pursuing our route up the Mississippi, about ten miles above 
Port Byron, the Wabesepinecon comes in from the west, and 
five miles further is the outlet of the Marais d'Ogee, a swampy 
slough or lake, the waters of which, in high floods, connect 
with those of Rock river. Albany, is a town site in Whiteside 
county, and offers claims as a seat of justice, and is about four- 
teen miles above Port Byron. It is situated on a high slope, 
and has lime stone in abundance, timber around, and an ex- 
cellent farming country in the rear. Its population in the sum- 
mer of 1838, numbered about 150. 

New York will be the next point. It is situated on the west 
aide of the river, and claims to be the germ of a future city. 

56 traveler's directory 

Fulton City, in Whiteside county, is at a place called the 
Narrows, a short distance below the outlet of Cat-tail swamp 
It presents an excellent landing, and has a population of twenty 
families. Here the Mississippi is unusually narrow, with bluff 
banks, without sand-bars or islands, and one of the most con- 
venient ferries on the river. This is the nearest landing on 
this river to cross the country to Dixon, it being twenty-eight 
miles to Harrisburg, and twelve miles from thence to Dixon. 

Savanna is fifteen miles above, and the point where the 
Great Central Rail road touches the Mississippi. This is near 
the entrance of Plum creek, and a good site. 

It is the seat of justice for the new county of Carroll, and 
is the prominent landing for goods and travelers destined to 
the Rock river country above Dixon. 

Maquoketah, or Bear river, enters from the west, about ten 
miles above Savanna, and eight miles further is Bellevue, a 
pleasant and flourishing town, on the Iowa side. To reach 
Galena, boats pass up Galena slough, and then Fever river, a 
crooked stream, but navigable to all boats that can pass the 
rapids below. 


Rock River enters the Mississippi three miles below Rock 
Island. Its principal head is in a region of lakes and swamps, 
towards Fox river of Green Bay, its course south, and then 
southwesterly. Another head is Catfish, a stream in Wiscon- 
sin Territory, that connects together the " Four Lakes," the 
head waters of which commence in a swamp, a few miles 
south of Fort Winnebago. The country towards the head of 
Rock river, is made up alternately of swamps and quagmires, 
ridges of sand and shrubby oaks, with tracts of rich, dry, un- 
dulating land. The Terre Tremblant, or trembling land, is in 
this region, so called from the shaking of the surface while 
passing over it. 

After Rock river enters the State of Illinois it receives the 
Peek-a-ton-o-kee, and several smaller streams, from the right ; 
and from the left, Turtle river, Sycamore, Green river, and 
several smaller streams. 

Much of the country through which it passes in Illinois is 
prairie. About the mouths of Turtle river and Sycamore creek, 
are large bodies of timber. It generally passes along a channel 


of lime and sand stone rock, and has several rapids of some 
extent, that injure the navigation at low water. The first are 
three or four miles above its mouth. The second are twelve 
or fifteen miles below Dixon's ferry. The next are below the 

The country generally, along Rock river to the boundary 
line, is beautifully undulating, the soil rich, and the timber de- 
ficient. This, however, will not prevent it from becoming an 
extensive agricultural region. 

The climate is temperate and healthy ; and the river and its 
tributaries furnish a vast amount of water privileges. The bot- 
tom lands of this stream are about one mile wide, and the 
slopes reach the table lands with a gentle acclivity. Its banks 
are usually skirted with timber, from one to two miles in width, 
comprising the usual varieties found in northern Illinois ; as 
oaks of various species, ash, elm, hickory, white and black 
walnut, sugar-maple, cherry, &c. An abundance of good 
building stone, and bituminous coal, may be found in this re- 
gion. This stream, when the navigation, and that of the Peek- 
a-ton-o-kee, one of its principal branches, is improved, will 
open into the heart of the mineral and agricultural regions of 
the Wisconsin Territory. The distance from the Milwaukee 
to Rock river, is only fifty miles, and admits of a canal being 
constructed with ease ; and another water communication may 
be opened with the Wisconsin and the Fox river of Green Bay, 
at Fort Winnebago. 


The most serious obstruction to steamboat navigation ot 
Rock river, is at Vandruff's Island, three miles above its mouth, 
usually called the Lower Rapids. These are three fourths of 
a mile in extent, and formed by a bed of calcareous rock, ex- 
tending across the stream, which is divided into two channels 
by the island. From this point to Prophetstown, there are no 
obstructions, the river having a good channel, and never less 
than four feet water. Its width varies from 800 to 1000 feet, 
and the total fall, for the distance of fifty-two miles, is twenty- 
eight and eight tenths feet. The velocity of the current, about 
three miles an hour. 

Opposite Prophetstown are shoals, varying from three to four 
feet at low water, 


The Upper Rapids are at Harrisburg, and extend one and 
one fourth miles, and the total fall, in that distance, is eight 
feet, three inches. Its bed is a smooth calcareous rock. 

From this point to Rockford, a distance of sixty-three miles, 
the only obstructions in the river are three movable sand-bars, 
for a short distance, having from two and a half to three feet 
at low water. 

Opposite Rockford, the bed of the river is a smooth, solid 
rock for 260 yards, and the water, at its lowest stage, from two 
to two and a half feet. Above Rockford to the state line, are 
some obstructions, which can be easily removed. 

Rock river is different from other navigable streams in Illi- 
nois, in being confined, at most places, within its banks, at its 
highest floods. 


At the Lower Rapids, or Vandruff 's Island, a canal, 1,900 
feet in length, eighty feet in width at the water line, and five 
feet deep, is now in progress of construction. A guard lock 
will be required at the entry of the canal, and a lock of seven 
and a half feet lift, at its termination. This lock will be built 
of stone, the chamber 140 by 38 feet, so as to afford passage 
for any boats that usually navigate the Upper Mississippi. Con- 
tracts have been made, under authority of the state, for the 
sum of $60,389, which are expected to complete the work. 

At Prophetstown, it is proposed, to construct a wing dam of 
brush and gravel, 150 feet in length, and four feet high. The 
cost estimated at $1,280. It is proposed to improve the Upper 
Rapids by a dam as' far down the rapids, as the bed of the river 
and its' north bank will admit, and then construct a canal, by 
an embankment in the river of 2000 feet in length, and a lock 
of nine feet nine inches lift. The whole cost is estimated at 

The cost of the wing dams between this place and Rockford, 
to give free navigation over the shoals of sand and gravel, is 
estimated at $2,400. 

The rock excavation and wing dam at Rockford, are esti- 
mated at $6,150. 

Rock excavation and two wing dams between Rockford and 
the boundary line, are estimated at $1,865. 

Total, including all contingencies, $178,548 49. 


These improvements will give to the state and people, ex 
tensive water privileges ; equal, probably, to the whole cost, 
and render Rock river eventually, a great manufacturing 


The Great Wabash is the only remaining river I shall men- 
tion, as connected with Illinois. 

It rises in the northeastern part of Indiana, and running first 
a southwestern, and then a south course, it enters the Ohio 
about 200 miles above its mouth. It is a beautiful stream, and 
at high water is navigated by steamboats as far as Logansport 
in Indiana. Its head waters approach within a short distance 
of the waters of the Maumee of Lake Erie, with which a canal 
navigation is now being constructed, under the authority of the 
State of Indiana. 

The character of the lands and soil bordering on the Wabash, 
does not differ materially from that on the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi ; only there is more sandy soil, and its bottoms are more 
subject to inundation. In this region, and especially in Law 
rence and Crawford counties, there are some swamps, called 
by travelers purgatories. 

The principal tributaries of the Wabash within the State 
of Illinois, are the Vermilion, Embarras, and Litde Wabash 

The Valley of the Wabash is one of the finest countries of 
the west, with a due mixture of timber, and a most fertile soil. 


J. L. Smith, Esq., United States Topographical Engineer, 
surveyed this river in 1830, and made report to the department 
in February, 1831. This report notices three kinds of obstruc- 

1 Rock bars. 

2. Sand bars. 

3. Snags and sunken logs. 

The rock bars commence at the mouth of Eel river, and ex- 
tend to the vicinity of Delphi, in Cass and Carroll counties, 
Indiana, about twenty miles above La Fayette. The Wabash 
and Erie Canal obviates this difficulty. 

60 traveler's directory 

Rock bars again commence fifteen miles below Vincennes, 
and extend to the mouth of Patoka river, opposite Mount Car- 
mel, Illinois. 

In passing up the Wabash at a low stage of water, the first 
obstruction is Coffee Island ripple, six miles below Mount Car. 
mel, 440 yards in extent, and water at the lowest stage, eight- 
een inches — the fall for the whole distance twenty-two inches. 

The next obstruction is White river ripple, immediately be- 
low the mouth of White river, and opposite Mount Carmel. 
The obstructions are 300 yards in extent ; fall twenty inches ; 
bed of the river, sand rock, soft near the shore, and hard in 
the stream. The principal channel is near the Indiana shore, 
and subject to be choked by the formation of sand bars. 

A deep pool intervenes between this obstruction and Grand 
Rapids, one and a half miles in extent. These rapids are three 
fourths of a mile in extent. The channel is very crooked, the 
fall four and a half feet, and the depth of water, at the lowest 
stage, in places not over fifteen inches. The rock, an inter- 
mixture of sand and flint. 

From Grand Rapids to " Hanging Rock" ripple, is one mile 
and twenty poles ; channel smooth and deep. This ripple is 
about 300 yards in extent, the current divided by an island, 
fall twenty inches, and depth of water from fifteen to twenty 
inches at the lowest stage. 

" Ramsay's" ripple is four and a half miles further up. The 
obstruction is about 300 yards long. Fall twenty-two inches, 
depth of water, at the lowest stage, about twenty inches. The 
rock is sand and flint, with strata and fissures. 

The water is then deep and still two and a fourth miles, to 
the foot of " Little Rock" ripple, which is 1320 yards in length, 
and is one of the shallowest and most difficult passages on the 
river. The fall is twenty-two inches, the rock sand and flint, 
in places smooth, in other places in ledges, and the water, at 
the lowest stage, about fifteen inches. 


Some improvement was made before the state adopted a 
general system of internal improvement, which provided for an 
appropriation of $100,000, to be applied jointly with the State 
of Indiana. The obstructions now proposed to be removed by 
the report of David Burr, Esq., Engineer of Indiana, made ta 


the joint commissioners of the two states, November 28, 1838, 
are the following, included in the series of shoals and rapids, 
commencing above the junction of White river. 

1. The Grand Rapids — descent four feet in half a mile. 

2. The Hanging Rock Rapids — descent one foot seven inches 
in half a mile. 

3. At Ramsay's Mill, where the descent of the water above 
the mill dam to Hanging Rock, is three feet two inches. 

4. Little Rock Rapids, where in half a mile is a descent of 
one foot, three inches — making a descent in all of ten feet, six 
inches. In order to give three and a half feet depth of water at 
all times, the surface of the river must be raised nine and a half 
feet. To effect this, a dam and lock are to be constructed. 
The dam will be 1,000 feet in length, built with cribs of tim- 
ber, filled with stone, and covered with six inch plank. The 
bed of the river here is sand rock. The lock will be 175 feet 
long, and thirty-eight feet wide in the chamber, and adapted to 
the largest class of boats that will navigate the Wabash river. 

This improvement will furnish a vast amount of hydraulic 
power from the surplus water of the river ; consequently, the 
vicinity must become a great manfacturing place. 

Contracts for delivering rock of a suitable quality are entered 
upon, and the whole work is expected to be completed by No- 
vember, 1839. The cost is estimated at $166,928 55. The 
engineer in his report observes : 

" So great a power for hydraulic purposes, created in the 
heart of an extensive wheat-growing country, and adjacent to 
the beds of iron ore abounding in the valley of White river, 
cannot fail to ensure to the states large profits. Its situation, 
in a district of country where water privileges are extremely 
limited, will enhance its value, and being so great, (and within 
twelve hours' voyage of the Ohio,) will give it such claims to the 
attention of the public, as cannot, in the nature of things, fail 
to point it out as extremely well situated for any kind of manu- 
facture in which water power is essential, and induce it to be 
extensively improved. 

" A very short time can elapse before the rents from the 
water-power alone will pay the interest on the cost of con. 
strucdon, and keep up the necessary repairs and attendance. 
Leases for water power in Indiana rent for $150 per annum, 
for the privilege of propelling one run of four and a half feet 
mill-stones, and are readily sought for at these prices. 

62 traveler's directory 

" The eligibility of this water-power for the manufacture of 
iron and nails, of paper, cotton, lumber, and flour, cannot fail 
of making it in a short time the source of a large revenue to 
the states. The benefits of these works to the country can 
hardly be appreciated." 

The Vermilion River of the Wabash, rises in the great 
prairies of Champaign and Iroquois counties, and enters the 
Wabash in the state of Indiana. Its branches are North, 
Middle, and Salt forks. 

North fork rises in Iroquois county, and unites with the 
main stream below Danville. 

Salt fork rises in Champaign county, near the head of 
the Sangamon river, runs a south course till it enters township 
eighteen north, in range ten east, when it makes a sudden 
bend and runs north of east to Danville. The Salt works are 
on this stream, six miles above Danville. 

Middle fork rises in the prairie, forty miles northwest of 
Danville, and enters Salt fork. 

The timber on these forks is from one to two miles wide, 
and of a good quality. The adjoining prairies are dry, undu- 
lating and rich. 


Those improvements which are carried on by the State, are 
of two classes — the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and the 
General System, adopted by the Legislature, February 27, 

Illinois and Michigan Canal. 

The project of uniting the waters of Lake Michigan and 
the Illinois river, by a canal, was conceived soon after the 
commencement of the Erie Canal of New York. It was 
brought before the Legislature of Illinois in 1818, soon after 
the organization of the State government, in the Message oi 
the late Governor Bond. In 1823, a Board of Commissioners 
was organized, who, with engineers, explored the route and 
estimated .the cost of a small canal. Congress having granted 


each alternate section of land within five miles of the route, 
another Board of Commissioners was organized in 1829, a 
new survey was made, the towns of Chicago and Ottawa laid off, 
and some lots sold in 1830. It was now discovered that an 
immense bed of rock existed between the summit near 
Chicago, and the point on the Des Plaines, where the lake 
level runs out, that would require excavation from ten to 
eighteen feet, to obtain a supply of water from the lake,— 
that water in sufficient quantities to Supply a canal, and under 
control of the State, could not be obtained on the summit, — 
and that a deep cut for such a canal as the trade and business 
would soon require, would cost several millions of dollars. A 
survey was then had for a rail road, and the project for a time 
appeared to take with the people. 

At a special session of the legislature in 1835-6, an act was 
passed for the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal ; 
the Governor was authorized to negociate a loan on the faith 
and credit of the State, for half a million of dollars ; a Board 
of three Commissioners was organized, with full power to let 
contracts, dispose of property, and carry on the whole business 
in behalf of the State. The dimensions of the canal were 
fixed as follows : Sixty feet w r ide at the top water line, thirty- 
six feet wide at the bottom, and six feet deep. The irregular 
fluctuations in the lake, occasioned by the action of high winds, 
rendered this depth indispensable, to ensure an uninterrupted 
navigation of not less than four feet. 

This great work commences on the North fork of the South 
oranch of Chicago river, four miles to the Southwest of the 
city of Chicago, (the river itself forming a deep and natural 
canal from this point to the harbor,) and from thence extends 
to the Des Plaines river, seven and a half miles, at a place 
called " The Point of Oaks." From thence it runs parallel to 
the Des Plaines till it approaches the Sauganaske swamp, in the 
northwest corner of township thirty-seven north, in rang© 
twelve east, where it enters the bed of the river, to avoid the 
difficulty of crossing the marsh. A new channel will be 
opened here for the river on the west side of a low island or 
peninsula, where appears to have been the ancient channel of 
the river. When this work is finished, a quantity of land 
equal to two hundred and seventy acres, will be reclaimed, 
and the whole of the now impassable marsh made dry and 
arable land. 

64 traveler's directory 

From this point it is proposed to run a lateral canal through 
the Sauganaske Swamp and Grassy lake to the Calumet. This 
last work is authorized by law " to be constructed whenever 
the state of Indiana shall undertake a corresponding work, 
connecting her system of internal improvements with the 
Illinois and Michigan canal." 

The estimated cost of this lateral canal, which will be seen 
marked on the map, is 300,000 dollars. The route has been 
explored and surveyed, and the estimate made that the en- 
hanced value of State property along the line and at its ter- 
mination, will cover the expense. This lateral canal would 
then become the last link in a chain of canals of nearly twelve 
hundred miles in length, connecting the great works of Illinois 
with those of Indiana and Ohio. 

Length of Michigan and Erie canal, including both 
the branch to Michigan City and to the Illinois State 
line, (all in Indiana,) 198 

Wabash and Erie canal in Indiana and Ohio, 315 

Central canal, Indiana, 310 

Cross cut canal, Indiana, 43 

Miami canal, Ohio, 205 

White Water canal, Indiana, including the estimated 

length of Richmond branch, 90 

Canal from Cincinnati to Harrison, on the White 
Water canal, estimated, 30 

Total, 1,191 

These canals are intersected by numerous rail roads and 
turnpikes now in process of construction. 

From the Sauganaske Swamp, the canal line runs a south- 
west course, parallel with the river, to section 35, in township 
37 north, and in range 10 east, where it turns nearly a south 
course to Lockport, leaving the Des Plaines from one and a 
half to two miles to the right. 

Lockport is a most valuable town site, laid off by the State 
on section 23, township 36 north, range 10 east, of the third 
principal meridian. Here a lock of ten feet lift will be con- 
structed, and a basin 120 feet in width, and an immense water- 
power will be created for manufacturing purposes. Here the 


water of the lake finds its level. One mile below Lockport, 
and on State property, is placed another lock of ten feet lift, 
and here also an equal amount of hydraulic power is created. 

The value of the water-power created at this place, and at 
other points along the canal, by drawing ample supplies from 
Lake Michigan, can be hardly appreciated. 

From Lockport the canal passes near the river, till within 
two miles of Juliet, where it enters the pool of a dam, and at 
Juliet crosses in the same pool, and runs near the foot of 
Mount Joliet to section 4, township 34 north, range 9 east, 
where a feeder from Dupage enters. It crosses Dupage by an 
aqueduct, follows down the bend of the river to Dresden, and 
from thence runs one mile from the river, and crosses the Au 
Sable by an aqueduct. The " Kankakee Bluffs" between 
Dupage and Dresden are abrupt, of clayey formation and liable 
to slide. The canal passes at the foot of these bluffs, and is to 
be protected by a slope wall. From Au Sable, the canal 
runs within a mile of the Illinois river, past Marseilles to Fox 
river, which it crosses by an aqueduct about half a mile north 
of Ottawa. From this point a navigable feeder with its dam 
and guard-lock is in progress of construction, to the rapids of 
Fox river, which, with its curves, is nearly five miles in length. 
A lateral canal will also extend from the main trunk through 
Ottawa to the Illinois river. By these works an immense 
water-power is created, which will serve to make Ottawa and 
its vicinity a great manufacturing place. 

From Ottawa, to its termination at the city of La Salle, it 
runs about one mile from the river, and crosses the Pecumsau- 
gan, and Little Vermilion Creeks on aqueducts. Here a 
steamboat basin or harbor is in progress of construction from 
the Illinois River, and, a canal boat basin above the first lock, 
all of which with the lower division of the canal as far as Mar- 
seilles, are expected to be completed and in use by the spring 
of 1841. 

From the progress of the work, the alterations of some parts, 
and other changes, a saving to the state of more than one mil- 
lion of dollars from the former estimates by the chief Engineer 
has been made. 

The Board of Commissioners, in their report to the Legisla- 
ture of December 31, 1838, say, " The sum of $7,629,452 57 
will cover, with very little variation, every expense for a con- 
venient, substantial, and elegant canal, such as it ought to be 


for commercial economy, durability, and state character." They 
add, " It is the deliberate opinion of the Board, that the canal 
may be finished in four years, if there be no delay on account 
of funds." 

The money already expended amonnts to $1,432,445 43, 
of which $986,355 85, were disbursed in 1838, and had not 
unusual sickness extensively prevailed along the line of the ca- 
nal, and in various places in the northern parts of the state, the 
disbursments would have equalled $1,200,000. The Board 
estimate the operations for 1839, equal to a million and half of 
dollars, and for 1840, two millions of dollars. They also re. 
affirm their opinion that if the canal lands and town lots owned 
by the state, are gradually and cautiously brought into market, 
as they are required for use, and the greater part are reserved 
until the canal shall be completed, and its advantages more 
fully understood, the receipts from this source alone will more 
than meet all expenditures. 

Of the vast importance of this great enterprise to the country, 
in general, and to Illinois in particular, too much cannot be 
said. It is truly national in its character, and will form one of 
the main arteries in eastern and western communication. Al- 
ready commerce and travel in no small extent, is passing along 
that line, and every day is accumulating new evidence of this 
importance which Chicago holds between the East and the Up- 
per Mississippi Valley. 

The failure of the navigation in the Ohio and the Mississippi 
last season, has compelled a large proportion of the country be- 
tween Chicago and St. Louis, to resort to the latter place for 
their winter supplies. Goods have been hauled over land to 
Cassville, in Wisconsin, a distance of two hundred miles, to 
Galena, to the country on Rock River, to Peoria, to Putnam 
and the adjacent counties, and to the country along the Wa- 
bash. The completion of the Illinois and Michigan canal — 
the opening the Illinois River, for steamboat navigation at 
the lowest stage of water, — the Galena, Central, and other 
Rail Roads of Illinois, will furnish facilities for transportation 
that cannot now be fully appreciated. 

Along all the northern lakes west from Cleveland, Ohio, there 
is no suitable building stone, or lime. Millions of perch will lie 
along the canal for twenty-five miles, ready quarried for de- 
livery to canal boats. Immense forest of pine exist in the pen- 
insula of Michigan below Grand River, along the shore of Wis. 


consin Territory, about Fox River of Green Bay, and in the 
tract of country between Green Bay and Lake Superior. Mil- 
lions of this will be wanted in Illinois, and the canal will open 
the way for its transportation. Exhaustless bodies of bitumin- 
ous coal are along the line of the canal and the Illinois River, 
which will be conveyed to the towns and cities along the north- 
ern lakes, or to the interior of New- York, and the Canadas. 

The Central Rail Road of Michigan from Detroit, through 
the counties of Wayne, Washtenaw, Jackson, Calhoun, Kala- 
mazoo, Van Buren, and Berian to the mouth of the St. Joseph, 
which is across the lake from Chicago, will add greatly to the 
business of the canal. This road is already in operation to 
Ypsilanti, and contracts are made as far as Jackson, seventy- 
eight miles from Detroit. Hence its completion will be simul- 
taneous with that of the canal. 

When this communication is opened, the distance from 
New- York to St. Louis, will be passed in from twelve and 
half to sixteen days. From New- York to Buffaloe, five days. 
From Buffaloe to Chicago, by steamboats fitted for lake navi- 
gation, eight days — or to Detroit, and across the peninsula by 
rail- way to St. Joseph, and from thence to Chicago by steam- 
boats, four days, — to La Salle on the Illinois River by canal, 
one day and a half — from thence to St. Louis, forty-eight hours 
by steamboats. Thus the whole distance can be passed over 
in twelve and half days, or round by the straits of Mackinau, 
in sixteen and a half days. Allowing time for re-shipments, 
delays, &c, twenty days will be sufficient for goods to reach 
Alton or St. Louis, from New- York. 

The shipments through Chicago in 1832, amounted to three 
hundred thousand dollars. In 1833, from April 8, to Septem- 
ber 10, seventy schooners, and two steamboats had discharged 
their cargoes. 

In 1835, the arrivals were nine steamboats, two hundred and 
sixty-seven schooners and brigs, with 5015 tons of merchan- 
dise, and 9400 barrels of salt, besides lumber, provisions,- &c. 

In 1836, from April 18th to December 1st, the arrivals at 
Chicago were forty steamboats, ten ships and barques, twenty- 
six brigs, three hundred and sixty-three schooners, and eight 
sloops, equal to 60,000 tons. 

In 1838, the estimate as made by two intelligent merchants 
of Chicago, is as follows : 

Over twenty different steamboats, and some of the largest 

68 traveler's directory 

class, have been engaged in the Chicago trade, a part of them 
exclusively, others visiting that port occasionally. One hun- 
dred ships, brigs, and schooners, have been partially engaged 
in the same trade. 

The number of emigrants that arrived at that port in 1838 — 

The amount of merchandize imported, exclusive of lumber, 
and the property of emigrants, about three millions of dollars. 

The amount of lumber, chiefly pine, imported, and used or 
sold at Chicago, during the same year, is estimated at four mil- 
lions feet. Sometimes it has sold as low as fourteen dollars 
per thousand. No produce has been exported. The emigrants, 
and the laborers on the public works, consume all the produce 
that has yet been raised in the northern parts of the state, and 
will continue to consume all till the canal and other public 
works are completed. 

The commercial and consequently the agricultural interests 
of the whole valley of the Mississippi, are concerned in the re. 
suit of this undertaking. For whatever amount of produce is 
thrown off through this channel to the Canadas and New-York, 
it increases the advantages of a market for the commerce that 
floats down the Mississippi. The Missouri, and the Wiscon- 
sin Territory are no less interested in opening this communica- 
tion. In accepting the donation of land made by the general 
government, the honor and credit of Illinois is really pledged 
for the success of this enterprise. There is then no ground for 

I regret the prescribed limits of this work will not permit me 
to exhibit the important bearing that the success of this project 
will have upon the fur business, the lead manufacture, the In- 
dian trade, the rapid settlement and improvement of all the 
northern portion of the state, and the adjacent territory, and 
upon the prosperity of the farming community throughout our 
whole interior. 


At the session of the legislature of 1836-7, an act was pass- 
ed to establish and maintain a general system of Internal Im- 

It provides for a " Board of Fund Commissioners" of three 


persons, and a " Board of Commissioners of Public Works" 
of seven persons, one in each judicial circuit. 

The Board of Fund Commissioners are authorized to nego- 
ciate all loans, authorised by the legislature, on the faith and 
credit of the state for objects ef Internal Improvement ; receive, 
manage, deposit, and apply all sums of money, and manage 
the whole fiscal concerns of the improvement system. 

The Board of Public Works are authorised and required to 
locate, superintend, direct, and construct on behalf of the state 
all works of internal improvement, which are or shall be au- 
thorised to be undertaken by the state (except the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal, which is managed by a distinct Board.) This 
Board is required to hold semi-annual meetings, in June and 
December. Each member has specific charge of that portion 
of the works that falls within his own district. They are re- 
quired to execute the works by letting out contracts, except in 
special cases. 

The Fund Commissioners are authorized to contract loans 
by issuing state stock at a rate not exceeding six per cent, 
per annum, and to an amount not exceeding eight millions of 
dollars, redeemable after 1870. 


1. The Great Wabash River in co-operation with the State 
of Indiana, in that part over which both states have concurrent 
jurisdiction; appropriated $100,000. 

2. Illinois River, $100,000. 

3. Rock River, $100,000. 

4. Kaskaskia River, $50,000. 

5. Little Wabash River, $50,000. 

6. On the Great Western Mail Route leading from Vincen- 
nes to St. Louis, $250,000. 

7. A rail road from the city of Cairo, at or near the junc- 
tion of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, via Vandalia, Shelby- 
ville, Decatur and Bloomington ; — to cross the Illinois River, at 
the termination of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and from 
thence, via Savanna to Galena, appropriated $3,500,000. 

This is called the " Central Rail Road," by the people. 

8. A southern cross rail road from Alton, via Edwardsville, 
Carlyle, Salem, Fairfield, Albion, to mount Carmel ; from 


whence it is expected a line will be extended through Indiana 
to New Albany, and become connected with the great rail road 
chartered and surveyed from the Ohio River to Charleston, 
South Carolina. 

Also a rail road from Alton to Shawneetown, to diverge from 
the aforesaid southern cross rail road at Edwardsville, and 
pass through Lebanon, Nashville, Pickneyville, Frankfort and 

And further, a rail road from Bellville via Lebanon, and to 
intersect the road from Alton to Mount Carmel. Appropriated 

9. A northern cross rail road from Quincyon the Missis- 
sippi River, via Columbus, Clayton, Mount Sterling, to cross 
the Illinois River at Meredosia, and to Jacksonville, Springfield, 
Decatur, Sydney, Danville, and thence to the state line in the 
direction of Lafayette, Indiana, and thus form a line of com- 
munication with the great works in Indiana, and to the eastern 
states. Appropriated $1,850,000 

10. A rail road from Alton via Upper Alton, Hillsboro, Shel- 
bysville, Charleston, Paris, and from thence to the state line in 
the direction of Terre Haute, Indiana, where it will be con- 
nected with rail road and canal communications through that 
state, both in an eastern and southern direction. Appropriated, 

11. A rail road from Peoria, via Canton, Macomb and 
Carthage to Warsaw, on the Mississippi, at the foot of the 
Des Moines rapids. Appropriated, $700,000. 

12. A rail road from Bloomington, to Mackinau, and from 
thence two branches to the Illinois River; — one through 
Tremont to Pekin; the other to Peoria. Appropriated, 

An appropriation of $200,000 was made to those counties 
through which no rail road or canal is made at the cost of the 
state, to be in a rateable proportion to the census of 1835, and 
to be applied in the improvement of roads, bridges and other 
public works by the counties. 


The special fund for this purpose, shall consist of all monies 
raised from state bonds, or stock, or other loans, authorized by 
law ; — all appropriations made from time to time out of the 


revenue of the state arising from land taxes ; — all tolls and rents 
of water privileges and other tolls from the works when con- 
structed ; — all rents, profits and issues from lands to be pur- 
chased on the routes ; — the proceeds of all donations of lands 
from the general government, or from individuals, companies, 
or corporations ; — a portion of the proceeds of the surplus fund 
distributed by congress ; together with the net proceeds of all 
bank and other stocks subscribed and owned by the state after 
liquidating the interest on loans contracted for the purchase o£ 
such bank or other stocks. 

A subsequent enactment authorised the Fund Commission- 
ers to subscribe two millions of dollars stock to the State Bank 
of Illinois, and one million four hundred thousand dollars to 
the Illinois Bank at Shawneetown, by the creation of six per cent, 
stock. The net proceeds of this stock, after paying interest on 
the loans will equal six per cent, per annum, or produce an 
annual revenue to the Internal Improvement fund of $180,000. 

The interest of the state in all these works, all their proceeds, 
with the faith of tta state, are irrevocably pledged for the pay- 
ment of the interest and the redemption of the principal of all 
stock and loans for Internal Improvement. 

The improvement of the great western mail route from Vin- 
cennes to St. Louis, and the special appropriation to the coun- 
ties, are to be provided for from the first loans made. 

The improvement of the rivers is to be for steam, keel and 
flat boats ; to be commenced at their mouths and continued up 
as far as the appropriations admit. 

The rail roads are to be commenced at their intersection 
with navigable rivers, and commercial towns, and as soon as 
five miles of any one fine is completed, the commissioners are 
required to place thereon locomotives and facilities of trans- 
portation, to establish tolls, &c. 

The plan, estimates of cost, and progress of the improve- 
ments of the rivers, have already been noticed. 

Of the " Great Western Mail Route between Vincennes and 
St. Louis," portions have been finished, the contracts on other 
portions are now in the progress of performance, and the re- 
mainder will be speedily commenced, and the whole completed, 
probably, before the close of 1839. 

The reports of the commissioners, just published by the legis- 
lature, show the following facts, as exhibited to the legislature, 
December 28, 1838. 



Central Rail Road. 


Grading from Galena, southerly 20 

Grading from Peru, northerly and southerly . . 22 

Grading and timber from Cairo, northerly ... 23 
Grading across the Oakaw river, near Vandalia . 4£ 


Peoria and Warsaw Rail Road. 

Grading from Peoria, westwardly 12 

Grading from Warsaw, eastwardly 12 


Alton and Shawneeiown Rail Road. 

Grading and timber from Shawneetown to Equality 12 
Grading at the crossing of Silver creek ... 3 


Northern Cross Rail Road. 

Grading from Quincy to Columbus 16$ 

Grading from Danville, westwardly 18 

Whole work from Meredosia to the Sangamon river 64 

Naples branch .' • 3$ 

Grading westwardly from Meredosia .... 3 


Alton and Mount Carmel Rail Road. 

Whole work from Alton to Edwardsville ... 15 

Grading and timber from Mount Carmel to Albion 18 

Grading and viaduct at the crossing of the Oakaw 2 

Grading at the crossing of the Little Wabash . . 3 



- Alton, Skelbyville, and Paris Rail Road. 

Grading and superstructure from Alton, eastwardly 13 
Grading and timber from the State line, westwardly 18 
Grading at the crossing of the Embarrass river . 2 


Bloomington, Mackinaw, Peoria, andPekin Rail Road. 

Whole work from Pekin to Tremont .... 9\ 


Making the whole amount of Rail Road, now under con* 
tract, two hundred and ninety-three miles and three-fourths ; 
one hundred and five miles of which is to be completed. Of 
thirty miles, the grading and timber for the superstructure are 
let ; and of the residue, the grading only is let. 

The various parts of the roads under contract consist of 
deep cuts, heavy embankments and costly viaducts, and are 
by far the most expensive portions of the whole work. This 
is owing to the fact that the lines under contract pass through 
the highlands and broken country bordering upon the navi- 
gable streams and other water courses of the country ; conse- 
quently, the average cost, per mile, of the roads under con- 
tract, will far exceed that of any other portion of the roads of 
the State. A fair average of the roads now under contract, 
including superintendence, engineering, turnouts, depot build- 
ings, and all incidental expenses necessary to complete the 
works, may be safely computed at twelve thousand five hun- 
dred dollars per mile. 

The Board has procured to be surveyed and measured all 
the Rail Roads contemplated by law in the State. The 
following detailed statement will show the length of each road 
between the poin-ts mentioned in the law — the whole length of 
each road — and the total length of all the roads contemplated 
in the State. 

74 traveler's directory 

Central Rail Road. 


From Cairo to Vandalia 155 

Shelbyville 36* 

To Decatur 36 miles — Bloomington 43£ . . 79£ 
To the termination of the Illinois and Michi- 
gan canal 60 

To Savannah 93f miles— Galena 30| . . 126£ 

Making the total length of the Central Rail Road 457£ 

Alton and Mount Carmel, or Southern Cross Rail Road, 

From Alton to Edwardsville 14 

To Carlyle 37 

To Salem 23 

To Fairfield 39 

To Albion 16 

To Mount Carmel 18 


Skawncetown Branch. 

From the intersection near Edwardsville to Lebanon 18 

To Nashville 30 

To Pinckneyville 19 

To Frankfort 30 

To Equality 38 

To Shawneetown 12 


From Alton to Mount Carmel (as above) . . . 147 
Shawneetown branch (as above) .... 147 

Making the total length of this road . . . ; ... 294 


Northern Cross Rail Eoad. 


From Quincy to Columbus 16^ 

To Clayton 12 

To Mount Sterling 9£ 

To Meredosia 15£ 

Naples Branch . . . . • 3^ 

To Jacksonville 23£ 

To Springfield 33£ 

To Decatur 37£ 

To Sidney 47| 

To Danville 23$ 

To State line of Indiana 1L£ 

Making the total length of this road .... 234£ 


Shelby ville and Paris branch of Central Rail Road. 

From Shelbyville to Charleston 34 

To Paris 27 

To State line of Indiana 10£ 

Making the total length of this road 7l£ 

Peoria and Warsaw Rail Road. 

From Peoria to Canton 32 

To Macomb 37 

To Carthage 28 

To Warsaw 19 

Making the total length of this road 116 

76 traveler's directory 

Alton and Shelbyville Rail Road. 


From Lower to Upper Alton 2 

To Hillsborough ......... 44 

To Central Rail Road . 45 

Making the total length of this road 91 


Belleville and Lebanon Branch. 

From Belleville to the place of intersection, at or 
near Highland 23£ 


Bloomington, Mackinaw, Peoria and Pehin Rail Road. 

From Bloomington to Mackinaw town .... 20 

From thence to Peoria 17 

From Mackinaw town to Pekin 16| 

Making the total length of all the branches of this road 53| 

The following list shows the total length of each road, and 
the total of all the roads projected in the State : — 


1 Central Rail Road 457£ 

2 Southern Cross Rail Road 294 

3 Northern Cross Rail Road 234£ 

4 Shelbyville and Paris Branch of Central Rail Road 71£ 

5 Peoria and Warsaw Rail Road 116 

6 Alton and Shelbyville Rail Road 91 

7 Belleville and Lebanon Rail Road .... 23£ 

8 Bloomington, Mackinaw, Peoria & Pekin Rail Road 53£ 

Making the total length of all the roads in the State 1,341 1 



The following table shows the average cost, per mile, and 
the total cost, of each and all of said roads : — 

Names of Roads. 

Cost per mile. 

Total cost. 

1 Central Rail Road . . 

2 Southern Cross Rail Road, 
and Alton and Shawnee. 
town Rail Road . . . 

3 Northern Cross Rail Road 

4 Shelbyville and Paris Rail 

5 Peoria and Warsaw Rail 

6 Alton and Shelbyville Rail 

7 Belleville and Lebanon Rail 

8 Bloomington, Mackinaw, 
Peoria, and Pekin Rail 

$8,326 00 

8,200 00 
8,430 00 

10,589 00 

8,331 00 

8,295 00 

7,000 00 

11,736 00 

$3,809,145 00 

2,410,800 00 
1,976,335 00 

757,113 50 

966,396 00 

754,845 00 

164,500 00 

630,810 00 

Total cost of all of the said 

11,470,444 50 

In making these estimates, the Board has included all the 
expenditures for superintendence, engineering, and all other 
incidental expenses. Easy grades have, in general, been 
adopted, and in all cases calculations have been made for the 
most useful and durable structures; and the Board has no 
doubt but the works may be constructed, upon the most 
approved plans, at the cost estimated upon each work. It is 
believed that, in every instance, the lines may be improved, 
locations changed, and improvements made in the construction, 
that may lessen the cost far below those prices. 

Many interesting facts pertaining to the geology of the coun- 
try, may be gathered from the reports of the Engineers. The 

78 traveler's directory 

following will show the elevation of the bluffs and table lands 
above the bottom lands of the rivers : — 

Upper Alton is 106 feet above Lower Alton or the city. 
The Female Seminary at Monlicello, five miles from the 
city, is 180 feet above the Mississippi bottom near Alton. 
Scarret's prairie is 194| feet above do. 

Brighton, in the border of Macoupin county, is 220 feet 
above the same. 

Mount Sterling is 265 feet above the bottom opposite Mere- 

Versailles, in Brown county, is 166 feet above the same 

Jacksonville is 142 feet above Meredosia. 

There is a point about equi-distant from Meredosia, which 
is about 180 feet above the sand plain at Meredosia. 

Meredosia is 21 feet and 27-100ths above the Illinois river — 
at what stage of water is not mentioned, probably at low 

Springfield is 153 feet above Meredosia. 

The bottom lands of Sangamon river are 85| feet above 
the Illinois river at Meredosia. 

The town of Pekin is 35^ feet above the Illinois river at 
low water. 

The bluffs in Tazewell county, opposite Peoria, are 212£ 
feet above the low bottom lands of the Illinois. 

Bloomington is 362£ feet above the same bottom lands. 

The fact so often suggested that our large prairies are not 
level, but undulating, is confirmed by the surveys. 

In most parts of the state, abundance of rock suitable for 
building purposes are found. An extensive quarry of very 
superior rock, said to be equal for durability to the granite of 
New England, has been opened within seven miles of Spring- 
field, from which the material to erect the new state house is 

Water-lime cement is found in great profusion upon exca- 
vating the canal, and used for its works wherever needed. 

The excavations for the public works, are rapidly developing 
the hidden resources of Illinois. 



The improvement of the harbor of St. Louis, which, though 
more immediately connected with the interests of Missouri, is 
not without interest to a portion of Illinois. The obstruction 
is a bar of sand, which has accumulated against the lower 
section of the city, while an island has been gradually forming 
in the middle of the river opposite the upper section of the city. 
The main channel now runs near the Illinois shore, and since 
the writer has known the place, has cut into the bank and 
swept away a tract of valuable bottom land for two miles in 
extent, and from one fourth to one half a mile in width. Un- 
der the direction and authority of the United States govern- 
ment, public works have been commenced to turn the current 
of the river away from this shore, and direct its force against 
the accumulating bar of sand, that threatens at no distant day, 
to throw a large portion of the thriving and prosperous city of 
St. Louis inland. If Congress makes the proper appropriation, 
this work will be nearly, if not quite completed the coming 

The improvement of the navigation of the Mississippi at 
the Des Moines, and the Rock river rapids has been noticed. 
The harbor of Chicago, made by the General government will 
be of immense benefit to that place, and all the northern por- 
tion of the state. It will form one of the finest harbors in all 
the northern lake country. 

The National Road is in progress through this State, and' 
considerable improvement has been made on that portion 
which lies between Vandalia and the boundary of Indiana. 
This road enters Illinois at the northeast corner of Clark 
county, and passes diagonally through Coles and Effingham 
counties in a southwesterly course to Vandalia, a distance of 
90 miles. The road is established 80 feet wide, the central 
part, 30 feet wide, raised above standing water, and not to 
exceed three degrees from a level. The base of all the abut- 
ments of bridges, must be equal in thickness to one third of the 
height of the abutment. 

From Vandalia, westward, the road is not yet located, but 
the legislature of Illinois with great unanimity have consented 
to its passage through the state, only on the contingency it 

80 traveler's directory 

shall pass Alton and cross the Mississippi, above the mouth of 
the Missouri. 

The principle of this action urged by the state, is that both 
Ohio and Indiana had a voice in directing where this road 
should leave those states, that Illinois had no voice where it 
should enter, and claims therefore the right to say that it shall 
leave the State at Alton. 


A rail way, six miles in extent, has been partially constructed 
from the town of Illinois opposite St. Louis, across the Amer- 
ican bottom, to the coal mines in the bluffs of St. Clair county. 
Iron has been laid only at thecurves,and the cars for the trans- 
portation of coal and wood have been running for 18 months. 
These coal mines extend from three to four miles along the 
bluffs, and appear inexhaustible. 

A Rail Road has been commenced at Chicago to commu- 
nicate with Galena. By obtaining the privilege in their charter, 
at the session of the legislature in 1836-37, to connect this 
road with the Central Rail Road that passes from the termina- 
tion of the canal at the city of Lasalle to Galena, the project 
now is, to extend the Chicago and Galena Rail Road direct 
from Chicago, via Plainfield to La Salle, and it is so marked 
on the map. 

Many companies have been incorporated for Rail Roads, 
short canals, and turnpike roads, some of which, probably, 
may be made — others had no other object in view than to afford 
a field for speculation, and give a little temporary notoriety to 
some paper town site, which may never become the habitation 
of man ! 

Canal Project. — A company has been chartered and sur- 
veys made preparatory to the construction of a canal from 
this place to Sangamon river, at Huron, and from thence to 
improve the river by slack-water navigation to the head. And 
it has been ascertained that a water communication may be 
opened at moderate expense across the State to the Vermilion 
of the Wabash. The construction of that portion of the canal 
from Beardstown to the Sangamon river can be easily effected. 


No state in the union possesses such facilities for inter-com- 
munication, by canals and railways, at so cheap a rate, and 
which can be so equally distributed to its population, as Illinois. 


Some years since, the legislature chartered a company, with 
power to raise funds by a lottery, for the purpose of draining the 
lakes and ponds of the American bottom, and thus improving 
the health of this tract of country, and reclaiming a large quan- 
tity of inundated land. This bottom has already been noticed. 
It commences a short distance below the city of Alton, and 
terminates at the mouth of the Kaskaskia river ; stretching 
along the easterly margin of the Mississippi nearly 100 miles, 
and is from three to seven miles in width. The amount of 
land in this bottom, including the inundated portions, is esti- 
mated to be upwards of 400 square miles, or 260,000 acres. 

The valley through which the Mississippi .river passes, is 
about six miles from bluff to bluff, and for nearly the whole 
distance of this bottom it passes near the base of the western 
bluff. These bluffs, in many places, rise perpendicular, like a 
parapet, to the height of 200 feet, exhibiting enormous masses 
of stratified rock. The action of the water of the Mississippi, 
at some former period, is plainly marked on these cliffs, at the 
height of more than 100 feet above the present surface of the 
river. There can be no doubt, even to the most superficial 
observer, that at some unknown period of die past, the waters 
of the Mississippi dashed against these precipices, and the 
whole American bottom was a lake. 

The whole bottom is of alluvial formation, consisting of al- 
ternate layers of a clayey and a sandy loam, of exhaustless fer- 
tility. The French population, about their ancient villages, 
have planted corn on the same fields for more than a century, 
without, in the least degree, exhausting its fertilizing powers. 
The luxuriant aquatic vegetation, and the stagnant ponds, satu- 
rated with vegetable matter, in its various stages of decomposi- 
tion, throw off miasma during the heat of summer, and prove 
the causes of the autumnal diseases that prevail in this region. 
Wherever this noxious vegetation becomes subdued, the soil 
cultivated or turned into meadow and pasturage, and the stag- 
nant waters removed, uniform health prevails. This has been 
exemplified in the history of the ancient town of Kaskaskia, for 

82 traveler's directory 

more than a century. No place upon the margins of our west- 
ern rivers is more healthy. The remote cause of disease — the 
generation of miasm from the decomposition of a rank vegeta- 
tion in a moist soil, or in stagnant water, has been long since 
removed from the vicinity of that town. Hence the conclusion 
is just and safe that the drainage of the stagnant ponds, their 
conversion into arable land, (a thing easily effected,) and the 
subjugation of the noxious vegetation by cultivation, will make 
this whole tract a healthy district. 

One half of this tract may be considered prairie land, the 
other half timbered land, ponds, and small lakes and sloughs. 

These were once probably channels of portions of the Mis- 
sissippi, as it receded from the eastern bluffs. Most of these 
ponds and sloughs are near the eastern bluffs, for the margins 
of all our western rivers are a few feet higher than their bottom 
lands near the bluff. The greater portion of these ponds do 
not exceed the depth of five feet in ordinary stages of the wa- 
ter, and many of them are entirely dry in the autumn, and ex- 
hibit a light mould of the highest fertilizing power. There are 
numerous small streams which flow down from the table lands, 
and discharge their waters into these ponds without any direct 
communication with the river. Only seven outlets to the Mis- 
sissippi are said to exist in this bottom, and through these the 
redundant waters are discharged when these ponds and sloughs 
are overcharged by heavy rains, or the overflowing of any 
great rise in the Mississippi. 

The extremes of the Mississippi at high and low water, op- 
posite Kaskaskia, are thirty-two feet. The same measurement 
has been observed at Chester, two miles below the mouth of 
the Kaskaskia River. In ordinary seasons the extremes do 
not exceed twenty-five feet. At high floods there are several 
places where the river overflows its banks, and sends its super- 
abundant waters into the interior sloughs and low grounds. 

Since the settlement of the country by Europeans, three or 
four instances have been known of the extreme floods of the 
Mississippi spreading over a large portion of the American 
bottom. 1724 is noticed on the records of Kaskaskia, as the 
11 year of floods." The waters then entirely submerged the 
village, and drove the inhabitants to the bluffs for safety. Tra- 
dition reports that boats could have passed without obstruction 
the whole length of the American bottom. 

About 1782, was another extraordinary rise, and a large ex- 


tent of bottom lands on the great river was inundated. In 
1811, there was an unusual rise of the Mississippi, which cov- 
ered a part of this bottom, and backed up the water of Kaskas- 
kia River some distance above the mouth of Silver creek. But 
these were extraordinary instances, and form exceptions to 
general rules. 


The successful experiment of embankments, or levees, as 
has been made in shutting out the high waters of the Missis, 
sippi in Louisiana, point out this method as a cheap and feasi- 
ble one to secure this bottom from future encroachment. 
Drains from the ponds and lakes to the river, secured by a tide 
gate, would remove, at any time, the surplus water, and re- 
claim many thousands of acres of land of exhaustless fertility. 
As most of these inundated lands are owned by the general 
government, application has been made by the legislature for 
their relinquishment to the state, on condition that their pro- 
ceeds, so far as needed, shall be applied to this object. I can- 
not see what objection can be made to this proposition. Con- 
gress will never engage in the business of cutting ditches and 
throwing up levees to reclaim ponds and marshes ; and in their 
present condition, these inundated lands are entirely valueless, 
and a serious nuisance to the health of the country. 

The plan also embraces the principle of levying a tax of one 
dollar per acre on all the land owned by individuals in this bot- 
tom for its improvement, a bill for that purpose is before the 
legislature, and will probably pass into a law. The owners of 
more than twenty thousand acres have voluntarily offered to 
submit to a tax to that amount, and a very large petition has 
been sent to the legislature on its behalf. 

It has been projected, and the plan looks feasible, to cut a 
canal from Wood River, near Alton, down the bottom, paral- 
lel with the bluffs, to the Kaskaskia River, near the town of 
Kaskaskia, and thus secure the double object of navigation, and 
a complete drainage to the inundated parts. And it will be re- 
collected, such a canal would pass near the base of all the coal 
banks in the adjacent bluffs. 

The managers of the lottery mentioned heretofore, who have 
the improvement of this bottom under their direction, estimate 

84 traveler's directory 

the present average value of all the lands in the American bot* 
torn, (260,000 acres,) at five dollars per acre, or $1,300,000, 
as the aggregate value. And they estimate the prospective 
value at twenty dollars per acre, if they were once relieved 
from inundation, and the tract rendered healthy. Then their 
aggregate value would be $5,200,000, and the gain by this 
scheme of improvement, at $3,900,000. 


The project of building a city that shall become a large com- 
mercial depot at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers 
was entertained by a number of enterprising gentlemen, as 
early as 1818. After an examination of most of the prominent 
locations on both these rivers, this spot was selected, and a 
very liberal charter was granted by the territorial government, 
with the style of the " City and Bank of Cairo." The site was 
purchased of the general government, and arrangements were 
in progress to commence operations. 

The sudden death of the " master spirit" of this enterprise, 
the embarrassments of the monied interests of the West, the 
decease of others, and the involvements of some, the project 
was delayed, if not abandoned. These early projectors cer- 
tainly possessed foresight. By the great mass of the community 
in the east and west, their project was regarded as wild, vision- 
ary, and impracticable. In their advertisement published in 
1818, the proprietors say things about the anticipated prosperity 
of the west, the growth of the country along the Mississippi, the 
extension of trade, the accumulation of the productions of agri- 
culture, the growth of towns and cities, all of which then were 
regarded visionary, if not insane, and yet all these have turned 
out in twenty years to be matters of fact. 

In January, 1836, the legislature incorporated the " Illinois 
Central Rail Road Company" for constructing a rail road, to 
commence at or near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi 
Rivers, and terminating at Galena. After this company had 
organized and secured valuable lands in the vicinity of Cairo, 
the legislature passed the law for a general system of Internal 
Improvements by the state, and made this " Central Rail Road," 
the great artery of the system. The construction of this road 
was relinquished to the state, the law having provided it should 


commence at the " City of Cairo," at or near the confluence of 
the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This portion of the road is 
now under contract for twenty-three miles, and much of the 
heavy embankments are nearly completed. Efforts were made 
at the present session of the legislature to change the location 
of this road, and make the terminating point several miles 
further up the Ohio. The legislature has decided against a 
removal, and before another session, the embankments, grading 
and bridging of this part of the road will be completed. Hence 
the termination of this rail-way will for ever remain at the depot 
fixed on the Ohio, about three-fourths of a mile above the ex- 
treme point of junction. 

The " Cairo City and Canal Company," was incorporated 
the 4th of March 1837, with special power to purchase any 
part or the whole of township seventeen, and more particularly 
the tract of land incorporated in 1818, as the " City of Cairo," 
and to make all the improvements for the protection, health, 
and prosperity of said city. The stock of this company is 
divided into 20,000 shares, of one hundred dollars each share, 
amounting to two millions of dollars. The stock has been 
taken, the company organized, the lands owned by the " Cen- 
tral Rail Road Company," and others purchased, the obliga- 
tion to construct a turnpike road, leading from Cairo to inter- 
sect the Vincennes and St. Louis turnpike road, and a loan 
procured by a Deed of Trust made with the "New- York Life 
Insurance and Trust Company," equal to the most extensive 
investments and improvements authorized by their charter. 
Bankers in England, of immense wealth, have advanced funds 
for present purposes, and will advance further any amount re- 
quired upon the security provided. 

Hence there appears to be no difficulty in the way of pro- 
curing funds, for the purpose of the most extensive improve- 
ments required, in building up a great commercial emporium. 

The " Bank of Cairo" has been organized and put in opera- 
tion by the Directors at Kaskaskia, the place provided for its 
operations in the original charter. This charter has yet about 
ten years to run. A bill for an extension of its time is before 
the legislature. 


The outlines of the chartered companies whose interests 
have been amalgamated, and their resources having been 


86 traveler's directory 

given, the next inquiry would naturally be into the feasibility 
of the project of a city at this point, and the plan of improve- 

One of the first steps of the Cairo City and Canal Company, 
was to ascertain by actual survey the extreme height of water, 
ever known to overflow every part of the located site of the 
city of Cairo, the washing of the bank by the action of the 
Mississippi, and all other facts affecting the interests and ob- 
jects of the company. They employed an experienced sur- 
veyor for this purpose, who, after careful examinations, found, 
that a considerable portion of the tract lay from one to two feet 
above the highest water mark — that when the waters of the 
Ohio and Mississippi reach a certain height, the immense ex- 
tent of country overflowed opposite and below the mouth of 
Ohio, extending into Arkansas and Louisiana, prevents a 
further rise to any extent. Hence it was found that a levee of 
five feet would protect the city fiom all inundation. 

The soil of this tract is clayey, and inexhaustibly rich. The 
timber generally is cotton- wood, pecaun, elm, sycamore, ash, 
hackberry, mulberry and maple. 

The plan of improvement contemplates a levee around the 
city, — a canal from Cash River to pass down the center of the 
tract, and unite both with the Mississippi and the Ohio, near 
the point, — and the erection of warehouses, wharves, and 
buildings for the purposes of residence and business. 

About twenty miles from the city, and on the rail road that 
is now constructing by the states, is an inexhaustible body of 
building stone. The soil is suitable for brick, and the tract, 
and the country adjacent, furnishes immense quantities of tim- 
ber, amongst which are large bodies of cypress. 

The Company intend to prepare buildings for business pur- 
poses, and dwellings for family use, of such description as will 
suit the taste and convenience of every person, principally of 
brick or stone, that emigrants who may desire to locate them- 
selves in this new city may find comfortable residences at a 
reasonable rent, or price, if they choose to purchase. The 
most liberal provision is made for education ; a fund adequate 
to all future wants of the inhabitants being secured by land and' 
lots in the city. 

I will only add as connected with the foregoing facts, that 
this site was examined last season by William Strickland, Esq. 
a distinguished architect and engineer of Philadelphia, and 


Richard C. Taylor, engineer and geologist, both employed by 
a company of bankers in London, who have advanced capital 
for the purpose of carrying forward these works. They state 
that the peninsufa at the mouth of the Ohio, is from thirty to 
thirty-five feet above the waters of those rivers at the lowest 
stage, and that the highest overflow of the waters above the 
surface of the ground, averages from four to five feet, and that 
some of the ridges of land are above the highest floods. They 
recommend that the foundations of the stores, ware-houses, 
and dwellings, be carried to the height of nine feet above the 
present surface, forming, when the streets shall be filled up, 
cellars, or underground apartments, and that all the build- 
ings contain four stories above the basements — and that 
the bank or levee, fronting the river, be at least one hundred 
and twenty-five feet in width, and raised eight feet. They 

" We cannot refrain or withhold our surprise that any doubts 
should have been entertained, or acted upon with reference to 
the practicability of erecting a city at the confluence of these 
great navigable rivers." 

I will only add the following article from the first edition of 
my " Gazetteer of Illinois," written in 1833, and which, with 
about three-fourths of the other matter, was copied from my 
writings by S. A. Mitchell of Philadelphia, in his "Illinois in 
1837," in violation of the copy-right law. 

Mouth of Ohio. — The importance of a good town site, at the 
junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers has, for many 
years, excited the attention of the enterprising. It is a feature 
in our western rivers, with few exceptions, that at and near 
their junction, the land is alluvion, of a recent formation, and 
at the high annual floods, usually inundated to the depth of 
several feet. This is the case, particularly, at the mouth of 
the Ohio. For twelve miles along that river, above its mouth, 
and a farther distance along the Missisippi, and across the point 
to Cash River, the country is subject to annual inundations. 
Had the Author of nature formed here an elevated situation, 
nothing could have prevented this spot from becoming the cen- 
tral commercial emporium of the great western valley. The 
immense trade of the Ohio and Mississippi, at some future day, 
will warrant the expense of forming a site here for a commer- 
cial town of several acres. I have no doubt but in due time, 
art, enterprise, and perseverance will triumph over nature at 

88 traveler's directory 

this place, and a large commercial town will exist where now 
the waters of the Ohio and Mississippi annually spread. 


In the infancy of a state, little can be expected in machinery 
and manufactures. And in a region so much deficient in wa- 
ter power as some parts of Illinois are, still less may be looked 
for. Yet Illinois is not entirely deficient in manufacturing en- 

The principal salines of this state have been mentioned under 
the head of minerals. 

Steam Mills for flouring and sawing are becoming very 
common, and in general are profitable. Some are now in 
operation with four runs of stones, and which manufacture one 
hundred barrels of flour in a day. Mills propelled by steam, 
water, and animal power, are constantly increasing. Steam 
mills will become numerous, particularly in the southern and 
middle portions of the state, and it is deserving of remark that 
while these portions are not well supplied with durable water 
power, they contain, in the timber of the forest, and the inex- 
haustible bodies of bituminous coal, abundant supplies of fuel, 
while the northern portion, though deficient in fuel, has abun- 
dant water power. 

A good steam saw-mill with two saws can be built for two 
thousand dollars ; and a steam flouring mill with two runs of 
stones, elevators and other apparatus complete, and of sufficient 
force to turn out forty or fifty barrels of flour per day, may be 
built for six thousand dollars. 

The northern half of the state will be most abundantly sup- 
plied with water power, and ordinary mills for sawing lumber 
and grinding grain are now in operation on the various streams. 
Probably in no part of the great west does there exist the ca- 
pability of such an immense water power, as is to be found 
naturally, and which will be created artificially along the ra- 
pids of the Illinois and Fox Rivers, and the Illinois and Michi- 
gan Canal. Incorporated companies with ample means are 
now constructing hydraulic works at Ottawa, Marseilles, and 
other points along the rapids of the Illinois. Fox River rapids 
have a descent of sixteen feet at Green's mills, four miles above 
Ottawa, with abundant supplies of water at its lowest stage ; 


and the river itself, from thence to McHenry county, is a rapid 
stream with rocky banks, admirably suited for hydraulic pur- 
poses. On the Kankakee are some fine sites for water privi- 
leges. Rock River furnishes abundant facilities for hydraulic 
purposes, especially at Grand Detour and Rockford. A com- 
pany engaged in the establishment of a large town at the 
mouth of Rock River, has been recendy chartered by the le- 
gislature for the purpose of cutting a canal from a point on 
the Mississippi at the upper rapids, to Rock River, by which 
they expect to gain eighteen feet fall and immense hydraulic 

It is expected that the improvement of the Kaskaskia and 
Little "Wabash Rivers, as provided for by the recent law of 
the state, will create valuable water privileges along these 

Certainly in connection with the improvement of the Great 
Wabash River by the joint operations of Indiana and Illinois, 
hydraulic power to any desirable extent will be created. Such 
will be the effect, too, upon Sangamon and other rivers within 
the state. Des Plaines River, and also the Calumet, furnish 
extensive hydraulic privileges ; and the surplus water provided 
by the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and 
which may be conveniently applied to manufacturing purposes, 
is estimated to be equal to that required for running seven hun- 
dred pairs of mill stones four and a half feet in diameter. 

Incorporations for companies for various manufacturing pur- 
poses have been granted by the legislature within the last four 
or five years, some of which have been organized and com- 
menced operations. The conclusion is, that Illinois will fur- 
nish as great facilities for manufacturing purposes, as soon as 
the circumstances and wants of the community shall call for 
their operation, as can be found in any western state. 

Large quantities of castor oil are annually manufactured in 
Illinois from the palma christi, or castor bean. A number of 
presses are in operation in Madison, Greene, Macoupin, St. 
Clair, Randolph, Edwards, and perhaps other counties. 

Cotton Goods. A few factories for spinning cotton yarn have 
been put into operation in several counties on a small scale of 
from one hundred to two hundred spindles each. They are 
carried by animal power on the inclined plane. 

Coarse clothing from cotton is manufactured in the southern 
portion of the state, where the article is raised in small quanti- 



ties. Woollen cloth, and jeans, a mixture of wool and cotton, 
is made for ordinary wear, as is cloth from flax. 

Lead. In Jo Daviess county are eight or ten furnaces for 
smelting lead. The amount of this article made annually at the 
mines of the Upper Mississippi, has been given under the head 
of minerals. 

Boat Building will soon become a branch of business in this 
state. Some steamboats have been constructed already within 
this state, along the Mississippi. It is thought that Alton and 
Chicago are convenient sites for this business. 

There is in this state, as in all the western states, a large 
amount of domestic manufactures made by families. All the 
trades, needful to a new country, are in existence. Carpenters, 
wagon-makers, cabinet-makers, blacksmiths, tanneries, &c, 
may be found in every county and town. At Mount Carmel 
and Springfield, there are iron foundries for castings. 

There has been a considerable falling off in the manufac- 
ture of whiskey within a few years, and it is sincerely hoped 
by thousands of citizens that this branch of business, so decid- 
edly injurious to the morals and happiness of the community 
and of individuals, will entirely decline. 

Ox mills on the inclined plane, and horse mills by draught, 
are common throughout the middle and southern parts of the 


The State of Illinois, extending as it does, through five and 
half degrees of latitude, must possess some variety in its climate 
Its extensive prairies, and its level surface, give greater scope 
to the winds, especially in winter. Snow frequently falls, but 
seldom lies long, during the three winter months, in the south- 
ern portion of the state. In the northern portion, the winters 
are nearly as severe as in the same parallel of latitude in the 
Atlantic states. The Mississippi at St. Louis, is frequently 
frozen over and passed on the ice, and occasionally for seve- 
ral weeks. The hot season is longer, though not more intense, 
than occasionally for a day or two in New England. 

During the years 1817-18-19, the Rev. Mr. Giddings, at 
St. Louis, made a series of observations upon Fahrenheit's ther- 





Mean temperature for 1817, 

Do. do from the beginning of 

May, 1818, to the end of April, 1819, . 56 . 98 
Mean temperature for 1820, . . 56 . 18 

The mean of these results is about fifty-six degrees and a 

The mean temperature of each month during the above 
years, is as follows : 










October, . 



The mean temperature of the different seasons is as fol- 
lows : 

Winter, 34. 53— Spring, 54. 74— Summer, 74. 34— Au- 
tumn, 60. 77. 

The greatest extremes of heat and cold during my residence 
in the country for seventeen years, in the vicinity of St. Louis, 
is as follows : 

Greatest heat in July 1820, and July 1833, 100 degrees. 
Greatest cold January 3d, 1834, 18 degrees below zero. 

The foregoing facts will doubtless apply to about one half of 
Illinois. The climate also is subject to sudden changes from 
heat to cold ; from wet to dry, especially from November to 
May. The heat of the summer below the 40th degree of lati- 
tude is more enervating, and the system becomes more easily 
debilitated than in the bracing atmosphere of a more northerly 

The putting forth of vegetation in the spring, furnishes data 
for the most correct conclusions concerning the climate of a 




. 62 


. 65 


. 13 


. 47 


. 66 


. 47 


. 66 


. 88 


. 10 


. 00 


. 13 


. 33 


traveler's directory 

country. Some facts gathered from the observations of a series 
of seasons, will be presented in the appendix. 

Winds. Southwesterly winds prevail during the spring, 
summer and autumn, at least, south of the forty-first degree of 
latitude. In the spring, and during the rise of the Missouri, 
they are from a more westerly direction, and rains are usually 
more frequent. During the latter part of summer and autumn 
the air is dry and elastic. In the months of December and 
January, northwest and northerly winds often prevail. North- 
east storms are extremely rare, unless towards Lake Michigan. 

Weather. There is a great proportion of clear, pleasant 
days throughout the year. Dr. Beck, who resided at St. Louis 
during the year 1820, made observations upon the changes of 
the weather, and produced the following results. 

Clear days, 245. — Cloudy, including all the variable days, 

The results of my own observations, kept for twelve years, 
with the exception of 1826, and with some irregularity, from 
traveling into different parts of Illinois and Missouri during the 
time, do not vary in any material degree from the above state- 

The putting forth of vegetation in the spring furnishes some 
evidence of the character of the climate of any country, though 
by no means entirely accurate. Other causes combine to ad- 
vance or retard vegetation. A wet or dry season, or a few 
days of heat or cold at a particular crisis, will produce material 

The following observations were made at Augusta, Hancock 
county, and kindly furnished by S. B. Mead. M. D. 

Gooseberries leaved 

Crab Apple, 
Black Hare, 

Forest green, 
Prairies green, 

First killing frost, 


April 13 
April 14 
April 14 

April 22 
April 9 

Sept. 11 


April 11 
April 30 
April 30 

May 15 

April 30 

Sept. 23 


April 25 
April 28 
April 28 
April 28 
April 28 
May 5 
April 23 

Oct. 4 






First snow, 

Dec. 2 

Nov. 20 

Nov. 21 

Gooseberry in blossom, 

April 13 

April 29 

April 24 

Crab Apple, 

April 25 

May 9 

May 7 

Wild plum, 

April 13 

April 29 

April 29 


April 12 

April 25 

May 5 


April 19 

May 6 

May 1, 
15, 20 

The dates are at the time Dr. M. first observed this progress 
of vegetation. Augusta is 108 miles, (according to the land 
surveys,) north of St. Louis, and is nearly equidistant from the 
northern and southern extremities of the state. 

I have before me also from Dr. Mead, a table of Meteorolo- 
gical observations taken during the years 1834, 1835, and 1836, 
a mere epitome of which I have room to give in this place, in- 
cluding the mean temperature for each month. The observa- 
tions were made half an hour after sun-rise, at two o'clock, 
P. M., and half an hour after sun-set, from Fahrenheit's ther- 


April, . 
May, . 
June, . 

April, . 
May, . 
June, . 



Deg. Hund. 


. 88 

July, . . 

. 77 



. 48 


. 77 

. 40 


. 30 


. 64 

. 03 


. 90 

October, . 

. 56 

. 25 


. 95 


. 48 

. 09 


. 10 


. 36 

. 76 

Annual mean 

. 55 

. 32 



. D 7 f 



. 23 

July, , . 

. 61 


. 72 


. . 70 

. 87 


. 91 


. 52 

. 23 


. 56 

October, . 

. . 57 

. 97 


. 12 


. . 40 

. 55 


. 15 


. . 36 

. 37 

Annual mean 

. 52 

. 02 


traveler's directory 


Deg. Hund. 
. 31 . 82 




July, . . 

. . 75 

. 03 


. 31 . 41 

August, . 

. 71 

. 59 


. 37 . 39 


. 66 

. 00 

April, . . „ 

. 53 . 08 

October, . 

. 50 

. 65 

May, . . 

. 67 . 40 


. 44 


June, . . . 

. 70 . 11 


. 24 

. 84 

Annual mean 

, . 51 



Fair days. Cloudy. Rainy. 


1834 . 

. 246 . . 

74 . . 42 

. . 3 

1835 . 

. 250 . . 

67 . . 43 

. . 5 

1836 . 

. 229 . . 

78 . . 48 

. . 10 

Diseases. The more common diseases of Illinois are inter- 
mittents, frequently accompanied with bilious symptoms. Those 
which prove fatal in. sickly seasons are bilious remittents. More 
than one half of the sickness endured by the people is caused 
by imprudence, bad management, and the want of proper nurs- 
ing. Emigrants from the northern states, or from Europe, will 
find it advantageous to protect themselves from the cool and hu- 
mid atmosphere at night, to provide close dwellings, yet, when 
the atmosphere is clear, to have their rooms, and especially their 
sleeping rooms, well ventilated, and invariably wear thin cloth- 
ing in the day, and put on thicker apparel at night or when ex- 
posed to wet. 

Families are seldom sick who live in comfortable houses 
with tight floors and well ventilated rooms, and who upon 
a change of weather, and especially in a time of rain, make 
a little fire in the chimney, though it may be in the midst of 

I have seen but few cases of genuine consumption. Affec- 
tion of the liver is more common. Pleurises, and other in- 
flammatory diseases, prevail in the winter and spring. Oph- 
thalmia prevails at some seasons. Dysentery is not uncom- 
mon. Fewer die in infancy than in the old states. 

Finally, I am prepared to speak decidedly in favor of the 
general health of Illinois, 



The following article is from the pen of one of the oldest, 
experienced and most intelligent physicians in the western 
states, and contains a vast amount of valuable information to 
emigrants. It was written a number of years since, but still 
retains its original value. 


" The outlines which have already been given will afford 
some information to emigrants from other sections of the 
Union, or from Europe. We will now offer a few cautionary 
remarks, particularly intended for such as are about to settle, 
or have recently settled in this section of the United States. 

" Of new comers, there are two tolerably distinct classes : 
the one comprising farmers, mechanics, and indeed all those 
who calculate on obtaining a subsistence by manual industry ; 
the other is composed of professional men, tradesmen, and 
adventurers of every description. Towards the first class our 
attention is now directed, premising that throughout a great 
portion of the western country, except in large towns, almost 
every mechanic is almost necessarily a farmer ; the population 
being in but few places sufficiently dense to support that desig- 
nation of mechanical employments which is common in the 
eastern and middle states. 

" For the industrious and temperate of this class, our coun- 
try holds forth inducements which are not generally known or 

" The language of indiscriminate panegyric, which has been 
bestowed on its climate and soil, has conveyed little informa- 
tion, and is the source of many fears and suspicions in the 
minds of people at a distance. Other accounts have described 
the western country as uniformly sickly ; but the habit of exag- 
geration in its favor has been most prevalent ; neither need we 
wonder, when much of the information communicated, has 
been afforded by interested landholders, or speculators, and by 
travelers, whose views have been superficial, and whose 
journeys have been performed generally, either on the rivers 
or by post roads. 

96 traveler's directory 

" The first inquiry of a substantial farmer, from one of the 
old settled states, is mostly, for good land in the vicinity of a 
market; and afterwards, whether the situation be healthy. 
It is true that there are many places in the western country, 
affording the qualities expressed in this description, but they 
are perhaps all occupied ; and it would be, in several respects, 
more advisable for a farmer, possessing even a considerable 
sum of money in hand, to inquire first for a healthy situation, 
and then good land. 

" The spirit of improvement throughout the United States, es- 
pecially evidenced in canalling, and Rail Roads, will, it is hoped 
in a few years, open modes of communication, which, as yet, 
are wanting with the markets. 

" The same remarks will apply to the poorer class of emi- 
grants. If they value their own health, and that of their 
families, the main object of their attention will be to secure, if 
possible, a situation remote from the fogs that hover over the 
channels of large rivers, which become partly dry in summer, 
and from the neighborhood of swamps, marshes, ponds, and 
small lakes. 

" Every person, on coming from beyond the mountains, and 
especially from the eastern States, or Europe, will have to 
undergo some degree of change in his constitution, before it 
becomes naturalized to the climate ; and all who move from a 
cold to a considerably warmer part of the western country, 
will experience the same alteration ; it will, therefore, be wis- 
dom for the individual brought up in a more rigorous climate, 
that he seek a situation where the circulation of the air is unim- 
peded and free, and that he avoid those fiat and marshy dis- 
tricts, which have been already described. 

" Those who settle in new countries are almost universally 
exposed to inconveniences which have an unfavorable influ- 
ence on health. They are seldom able for a length of time to 
erect comfortable places of residence ; and indeed, many 
postpone this important object of attention, even after their 
circumstances will permit them to build comfortable dwelling- 

" Wool is mostly a scarce article in new settlements, so that 
cotton and linen garments are too frequently worn in winter. 
There is another circumstance, which no doubt has an un- 
favorable influence on health, especially among the poorer 
class : it is the want, during the summer season particularly, of 


substantial food. This is sometimes owing to indolence or 
improvidence ; but perhaps oftener, to the circumstances in 
tvhich a few families are placed, at a distance from any estab- 
lished or opulent settlement. 

" Erroneous views are too generally entertained in relation 
to hardening the human system ; and the analogies drawn 
from savage life, are altogether inconclusive. The manners of 
the North American Indians are essentially different from 
those of the whites. It is true, there is a portion of the latter, 
especially in Illinois and Missouri, who from infancy are edu- 
cated almost in the habits of the aborigines. 

11 We have frequently heard the example of savages referred 
to, as an argument in favor of attempting to strengthen the 
constitution by exposure.* There is plausibility in this ; but 
might not the example of the negroes in the lower parts of 
South Carolina and Georgia, be also quoted as evidencing the 
propriety of living on corn meal and sweet potatoes, and 
working every day in the water of a rice field during the sickly 

* Uniform exposure to the weather is favorable to health. I can 
affirm this from long experience and observation. Our hunters, and 
surveyors, who uniformry spend their time for weeks in the woods and 
prairies, who wade in the water, swim creeks, are drenched in the 
rains and dews, and sleep in the open air or a camp at night, very 
rarely are attacked with fevers. I have kruown repeated instances of 
young men, brought up delicately in the eastern cities, accustomed, as 
clerks, to a sedentary life, with feeble constitutions, — I have known 
such repeatedly to enter upon the business of surveying the public 
lands, or in the hunting and trapping business, be absent for months, 
and return with robust health. It is a common thing for a frontier man, 
whose health is on the decline, and especially when indications of 
pulmonary affection appear, to engage in a hunting expedition to reno- 
vate his health. I state these facts, "and leave it to the medical faculty 
to explain the why and wherefore One circumstance may deserve 
attention. All these men, as do the Indians, sleep with their feet 
towards the fire at night. And it is a common notion with this class, 
that if the feet are kept hot through the night, however cold the atmos- 
phere, or however much exposed the rest of the body, no evil conse- 
quences will ensue. I have passed many a night in this position, after 
fatiguing rides of thirty or forty miles in the day on our extreme fron- 
tiers, and through rains, and never experienced any inconvenience to 
health, if I could get a pallet on the cabin floor, and my feet to the fire. 

Those who are exposed to these hardships but occasionally, when 
compelled by necessity, and who endeavor to protect themselves at all 
other times, usually suffer after such exposure. 

I have observed that children, when left to run in the open air and 
weather, who go barefoot, and oftentimes with a single light garment 
around them, who sleep on the floor at night, are more healthy than 
those who are protected. 

98 traveler's directory 

season ? They are generally more healthy than the whites 
who own them, and who reside on the plantations in the sum- 
mer. The civilized man may turn to savage life perhaps with 
safety, as regards health ; but then he must plunge with the 
Indian into the depths of the forest, and observe consistency 
in all his habits. These pages are not written, however, for 
such as are disposed to consider themselves beyond the pale 
of civilized society ; but for the reflecting part of the commu- 
nity, who can estimate the advantages to be derived from a 
prudent care of health. 

" Much disease, especially in the more recently settled parts 
of this country, is consequent to neglecting simple and com- 
fortable precautionary means ; sometimes this neglect is owing 
to misdirected industry, and at others to laziness or evil habits. 

" To have a dry house, if it be a log one, with the openings 
between the logs well filled up, so that it may be kept warm in 
winter ; to fill up all the holes in its vicinity which may contain 
stagnant water ; to have a good clean spring or well, sufficient 
clothing, and a reasonable supply of provisions, should be the 
first object of a settler's attention : but frequently a little, wet, 
smoky cabin or hovel is erected, with the floor scarcely sepa- 
rated from the ground, and admitting the damp and unwhole- 
some air. All hands that can work, are impelled, by the 
father's example, to labor beyond their strength, and more land 
is cleared and planted with corn than is well tended ; for over- 
exertion, change in the manner of living, and the influence of 
other debilitating causes, which have been mentioned, bring 
sickness on at least a part of the family, before the summer is 
half over. 

" It is unnecessary for even the poorest emigrant to encounter 
these causes of distress, unless seduced by the misrepresenta- 
tions of some interested landholder, or by the fantasies of his 
own brain, to an unhealthy and desolate situation, where he 
can neither help himself, nor be assisted by others. 

" Many persons on moving into the back woods, who have 
been accustomed to the decencies of life, think it little matter 
how they live, because no one sees them. Thus we have 
known a family of some opulence to reside for years in a 
cabin unfit for the abode of any human being, because they 
could not find time to build a house ; and whenever it rained 
hard, the females were necessarily engaged in rolling the beds 
from one corner of the room to another, in order to save them 


from the water that poured in through the roof. This cabin 
was intended at first as only a very temporary residence, and 
was erected on the edge of a swamp, for the convenience of 
being near to a spring. How unreasonable must such people 
be, if they expect health ! 

" Clothing for winter should be prepared in summer. It is 
a common, but very incorrect practice among many farmers, 
both west and east of the Alleghany mountains, to postpone 
wearing winter clothing until the weather has become ex- 
tremely cold : this is a fruitful source of pulmonary diseases, 
of rheumatisms, and of fevers. 

" With regard to providing a sufficiency of nourishing food, 
no specific directions can be given, further than to recommend 
what is much neglected — particular attention to a good garden 
spot ; and to remark, that those who devote undivided atten- 
tion to cultivating the soil, receive more uniform supplies of 
suitable nourishment than the more indolent, who spend a 
considerable portion of their time in hunting. 

"New settlers are not unfrequently troubled with diseases of 
the skin, which are often supposed to be the itch : for these 
eruptions they generally use repellant external applications ; 
this plan of treatment is prejudicial. 

" The most proper time for the removal of families to this 
country from the Atlantic states, is early in the spring, while 
the rivers are full ; or if the journey be made by land, as soon 
as the reads are sufficiently settled, and the waters abated. 

" Persons unaccustomed to the climate of the lower Missis- 
sippi country, are necessarily exposed, whilst there in the sum- 
mer season, to many causes of disease. It will be advisable 
for such to have a prudent care of their health, and yet, a care 
distinct from that finical timidity which renders them liable to 
early attacks of sickness. 

" There is one important consideration, which perhaps has 
been somewhat overlooked by medical men, who have written 
on this subject. Natives of colder and healthier regions, when 
exposed in southern and sickly climates, experience, if they 
remain any length of time, without evident and violent dis- 
ease, an alteration in the condition of the liver, and of the 
secreted bile itself; when it passes through the bowels, its color 
being much darker than usual. Sometimes, indeed, it appears 
to be 'locked up in the liver,' the stools having an ashen 
appearance. This state of the biliary secretion is frequently 

100 traveler's directory 

accompanied, although the patient is otherwise apparently in 
tolerable health, by a pain over the eye-balls, particularly when 
the eyes are rolled upward. 

" The proper mode of treatment for such symptoms is, to 
take without delay, not less than twenty grains of calomel, 
and in eight hours a wine glass full of castor oil. The tone 
of the stomach should not be suffered to sink too much after 
the operation of the medicine, which, if necessary, may be 
repeated in twenty-four hours. Sulphate of quinine, or other 
tonics, with nutritive food, which is easy of digestion, should 
also be taken in moderate portions at a time. 

" Where diseases are rapid in their progress, and dangerous, 
no time is to be lost. The practice of taking salts and other 
aperients, when in exposed situations, and for the purpose of 
preventing disease, is injurious. It is sufficient, that the 
bowels be kept in a natural and healthy state ; for all cathar- 
tics, even the mildest, have a tendency to nauseate the stom- 
ach, create debility, and weaken the digestive faculty. A 
reduction of tone in the system, which is always advantageous, 
will be more safely effected by using somewhat less than usual 
of animal food, and of spirituous, strong vinous, or fermented 
liquors. The robust will derive benefit from losing a little 

" It ought to be well understood, that as we approximate 
tropical climates, the doses of medicine, when taken, should 
be increased in quantity, and repeated with less delay than is 
admissible in colder countries. Exposure to the night air is 
certainly prejudicial ; so also is the intense heat of the sun, in 
the middle of the day. Violent exercise should also be avoided. 
Bathing daily in water of a comfortable temperature, is a very 
eommendable practice ; and cotton worn next the skin is 
preferable to linen. 

" It is impossible to prevent the influence of an atmosphere 
pregnant with the causes of disease ; but the operation of those 
causes may generally be counteracted by attention to the rules 
laid down ; and it js no small consolation to be aware, chat on 
recovery from the first attack, the system is better adapted to 
meet and sustain a second of a similar nature. The reader 
will understand that we do not allude to relapses occurring, 
while the system is enfeebled by the consequences of dis. 


To the foregoing remarks, I add the following, from an 
address of Judge Hall, to the "Antiquarian and Historical 
Society of Illinois," December 10, 1827. 

" The climate, particularly in reference to its influence on 
the human system, presents another subject of investigation. 
The western country has been considered unhealthy ; and 
there have been writers, whose disturbed imaginations have 
misled them into a belief that the whole land was continually 
exposed to the most awful visitations of Providence, among 
which have been numbered the hurricane, the pestilence, and 
the earthquake. If we have been content to smile at such 
exaggerations, while few had leisure to attempt a serious refu- 
tation, and while the facts upon which any deliberate opinion 
must have been based, had not been sufficiently tested by expe- 
rience, the time has now arrived when it is no longer excusable 
to snbmit in silence to the reproaches of ignorance or malice. 
It is proper, however, to remark, as well in extenuation of those 
who have assailed our country, as in the support of the confi- 
dential denial, which I feel authorized to make to their asser- 
tions, that a vast improvement in the article of health has taken 
place within a few years. Diseases are now mild which were 
once malignant, and their occurrence is annually becoming 
less frequent. This happy change affords strong authority for 
the belief, that although the maladies which have heretofore 
afflicted us, were partly imputable to the climate, other, and 
more powerful causes of disease must have existed, which 
have vanished. We who came to the frontier, while the axe 
was still busy in the forest, and when thousands of the acres 
which now yield abundance to the farmer, were unreclaimed 
and tenantless, have seen the existence of our fellow citizens 
assailed by other than the ordinary ministers of death. Toil, 
privation and exposure, have hurried many to the grave ; im- 
prudence and carelessness of life, have sent crowds of victims 
prematurely to the tomb. It is not to be denied that the mar- 
gins of our great streams in general, and many spots in the 
vicinity of extensive marshes, are subject to bilious diseases ; 
but it may be as confidently asserted, that the interior country 
is healthy. Yet the first settlers invariably selected the rich 
alluvion lands upon the navigable rivers in preference to the 
scarcely less fertile soil of the prairies, lying in situations less 
accessible, and more remote from market. They came to a 
wilderness in which houses were not prepared for their recep- 


tion, nor food, other than that supplied by nature, provided for 
their sustenance. They often encamped on the margin of the 
river exposed to its chilly atmosphere, without a tent to shelter, 
with scarcely a blanket to protect them. Their first habita- 
tions were rude cabins, affording scarcely a shelter from the 
rain, and too frail to afford protection from the burning heat of 
the noon-day sun, or the chilling effects of the midnight blast. 
As their families increased, another and another cabin was 
added, a! crazy and as cheerless as the first, until, admonished 
of the increase of their own substance, the influx of wealthier 
neighbors, and the general improvement of the country around 
them, they were allured by pride to do that to which they never 
would have been impelled by suffering. The gratuitous ex- 
posure to the climate, which the backwoodsman seems rather 
to court than avoid, is a subject of common remark. No 
extremity of weather confines him to the shelter of his own 
roof. Whether the object be business or pleasure, it is pur- 
sued with the same composure amid the shadows of the night, 
or the howling of the tempest, as in the most genial season. 
Nor is this trait of character confined to woodsmen or to far- 
mers ; examples of hardihood are contagious, and in this 
country all ranks of people neglect, or despise the ordinary 
precautions with respect to health. Judges and lawyers, mer- 
chants, physicians and ministers of the gospel, set the seasons 
at defiance in the pursuit of their respective callings. They 
Drosecute their journeys regardless of weather ; and learn at 
last to feel little inconvenience from the exposure, which is 
silently undermining their constitutions. Is it extraordinary 
that people thus exposed should be attacked by violent mala- 
dies? Would it not be more wonderful that such a careless 
prodigality of life could pass with impunity ? These remarks 
might be extended ; the food of the first settler, consisting 
chiefly of fresh meat without vegetables and often without 
salt ; the common use of ardent spirits, the want of medical 
aid, by which diseases, at first simple, being neglected become 
dangerous ; and other evils peculiar to a new country, might 
be noticed as fruitful sources of disease : but I have already 
dwelt sufficiently on this subject. That this country is de- 
cidedly healthy, I feel no hesitation in declaring ; but neither 
argument nor naked assertions will convince the world. Let 
us collect such facts as amount to evidence, and establish the 
truth by undeniable demonstration." 



On the banks of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and the 
"bluffs that overhang the alluvions, are many singular appear- 
ances. These consist of ledges of rock, which exhibit the most 
fanciful forms, and in many places are penetrated by caverns 
of various dimensions. Of these the " Cave in Rock" on the 
Ohio will be described under its own name. The " Devil's 
Anvil," " Grand Tower," " Starved Rock," " Buffaloe Rock," 
" Mount Joliet," " Mount Flat Head," " Mount St. Charles," 
" Monk Hill," and other singular formations, deserve passing 
notice as natural curiosities. 

Cave-in-Rock. This natural curiosity, well known to all 
the navigators of the Ohio River, is situated on the bank of the 
Ohio, where the dividing line between Pope and Gallatin coun- 
ties strikes the river. Such caves and piles of rock, as are de- 
scribed in the following sketch, are called by the Indians Mon. 
e-to — a name spelled Man-i-teau, by the French, and some- 
times by other authors. It signifies " the residence 
of a spirit" either good or bad. 

There are several Mon-e-toes in Illinois, Missouri, and other 
western states. One is at the precipices of the Mississippi ad- 
joining Lower Alton. Two more that give names to streams 
in Boone and Coles counties, Missouri. The Indians relate 
some wild and extravagant legends of the freaks of these ima- 
ginary beings at their " residences," and they usually propitiate 
the favor of the Mon-e-to, by liberal offerings, and the firing 
of guns, as they pass his habitation. 

The one at the head of this article, known to Americans by 
the name Cave-in-Rock, was long the rendezvous of a class of 
beings, far more formidable and dangerous to the whites, than 
the Indian Mon-e-toes. 

In 1797, it was the place of resort and security to Mason and 
his gang of robbers ; who plundered and murdered the crews 
of boats, while descending the Ohio. It still answers as a tem- 
porary residence for those who need shelter while on the river. 
The rock is limestone abounding with shells. 

The following description of this cave is given by Thaddeus 
M. Harris, an English tourist, made in the spring of 1803, a 
writer who has done justice to the west in his descriptions 

104 traveler's directory 

" For about three or four miles before you come to this place, 
you are presented with a scene truly romantic. On the Illi- 
nois side of the river, you see large ponderous rocks piled one 
upon another, of different colors, shapes and sizes. Some ap- 
pear to have gone through the hands of the most skilful artist, 
some represent the ruins of ancient edifices ; others thrown 
promiscuously in and out of the river, as if nature intended to 
show us with what ease she could handle those mountains of 
solid rock. In some places, you see purling streams winding 
their course down their rugged front ; while in others, the rocks 
project so far, that they seem almost disposed to leave their 
doubtful situations. After a short relief from this scene, you 
come to a second, which is something similar to the first ; and 
here, with strict scrutiny, you can discover the cave. 

" Before its mouth stands a delightful grove of cypress trees, 
arranged immediately on the bank, of the river. They have a 
fine appearance, and add much to the cheerfulness of the 

" The mouth of the cave is but a few feet above the ordinary 
level of the river, and is formed by a semicircular arch of about 
eighty feet at its base, and twenty-five feet in height, the top 
projecting considerably over, forming a regular concave. From 
the entrance to the extremity, which is abont one hundred and 
eighty feet, it has a regular and gradual ascent. On either 
side is a solid bench of rock ; the arch coming to a point about 
the middle of the cave, where you discover an opening suffi- 
ciently large to receive the body of a man, through which comes 
a small stream of fine water, made use of by those who visit 
this place. From this hole, a second cave is discovered whose 
dimensions, form, &c, are not known. The rock is of lime- 
stone. The sides of the cave are covered with inscriptions, 
names of persons, dates," &c. 

The trees have been cut down and the entrance into the 
cave exposed to view. 

The DeviVs Anvil is a singular rock, of considerable eleva- 
tion, and the top jutting over its base, near the road from 
Equality to Golconda. The surrounding country is very hilly, 
with rocky precipices, and exhibits all the desolation and wild- 
ness of a mountainous region. 

The DeviVs Oven is a singular promontory of sand rock that 
projects into the Mississippi, in Jackson county, one mile above 


the Grand Tower. It has a cave resembling the mouth of a 
mammoth oven, to be seen from the river. 

The Grand Tower is a perpendicular sand rock rising from 
the bed of the Mississippi, near the Missouri side, and a short 
distance above the mouth of Big Muddy River. The top is 
level, seventy or eighty feet high, and supports a stratum of 
soil on which are found a few stunted cedars and shrubs. Here 
are indications that a barrier of rock once extended across the 
Mississippi, and formed a grand cataract. The bed of the 
river, at a low stage of water still exhibits a chain of sunken 
rocks. The " Devil's Tea Table," " Back Bone," &c, are 
names given by the boatmen of the Mississippi to the singularly 
formed, abrupt, and romantic precipices that line the banks of 
that river in the vicinity of the Grand Tower. 

The m Starved Rock," and " Buffaloe Rock," have been 
noticed in the description of the Illinois River. 

Mount Joliet is a mound situated on the west bank of the 
Des Plaines, about sixteen miles above its junction with the 
Kankakee. It is in the southwestern part of Cook county, in 
township thirty-five north, in range ten east from the third 
principal meredian. It is in the midst of a large plain, cover- 
ed in summer with short, thin grass, and which bears striking 
marks of having been once inundated. 

Its size is variously estimated. Beck, in his Gazatteer, 
states, " It is three or four hundred yards in length, north and 
south, and two or three hundred in breadth, east and west. It 
is in the form of a pyramid, and is evidently the work of art." 

From the last position I entirely dissent. From all the facts 
I have gathered from those who have visited it, I have no doubt, 
but like similar eminences in every part of the globe, it is a 
atural production. Several gentlemen, who have passed this 
mound without stopping particularly to measure it, have esti- 
mated its length one mile, its breadth, at the base, half a mile, 
and its height one hundred and fifty feet. It appears to be an 
immense pile of sand and pebbles, similar to the sand ridges 
along the Illinois river. 

This name was given by the companions of Joliet, who visi- 
ted this country in 1673. 

Mount Flat Head is on the west side of the Des Plaines, 
and two miles below Mount Joliet. It extends two miles ; the 

106 traveler's directory 

north end is rounded — the south end irregularly shaped — its 
contents sand, gravel, and coarse pebbles, worn smooth by 
water friction. 

Mount St. Charles, in Jo Daviess county, twelve miles east 
of Galena. The surrounding country becomes elevated to the 
height of seven or eight hundred feet above the mining country 
generally. This mount, like a pyramid, rises from the center 
of this elevation one hundred and fifty feet. The base of the 
whole mount includes two or three square miles ; — the base of 
the pyramid is one fourth of a mile in length, and two hundred 
and fifty yards in breadth. Its top is long and quite narrow. 
The whole mound, as is the case with many smaller ones, is a 
natural formation. 

Monk Hill is situated on the American bottom, in the bor- 
ders of Madison county, eight miles northeasterly from St. 

The circumference, at the base, is about six hundred yards, 
and its height about ninety feet. On the south side, about half 
way down, is a broad step, or apron, about fifteen feet wide. 

This hill, or mount, was the residence, for several years, of 
the monks of the order of La Trappe, the most rigid and aus- 
tere of all the monkish orders. 

Their monastery was originally situated in the district of 
Perche, in France, in one of the most lonely spots that could be 
chosen. They fled from the commotions of that kingdom to 
America, lived for a time in Kentucky, and came to Illinois in 
1806 or '07, and settled on this mound. 

They cultivated a garden, repaired watches, and traded with 
the people, but were generally filthy in their habits, and ex- 
tremely severe in their penances and discipline. In 1813, 
they sold off their personal property, and left the country, for 

Fountain Bluff, frequently called the " Big Hill" in Jack- 
son county. It is a singularly formed eminence, or rocky bluff 
on the Mississippi, six miles above the mouth of the Big Mud- 
dy River. It is of an oval shape, eight miles in circumference, 
and with an elevation of three hundred feet. The western side 
is on the river, and the top is broken, full of sink holes, with 
Bhrubs and scattering timber. The north side is nearly per- 


pendicular rock, but the south side is sloping, and ends in a 
fine rich tract of soil, covered with farms. East is an exten- 
sive and low bottom with lakes and swamps. 

Fine springs of limpid water gush out from the foot of this 
Dluff on all sides. 

That these prominences are natural formations, appears to 
me evident from the following facts : — 

1. There is nothing to indicate the work of art but their 
singular shape. 

2. They are composed of various strata of soil and earth, 
in precisely the same position as are the strata of the neigh- 
boring bluffs, and the river bottoms, where the bank has been 
washed away. 

3. Some of them, as Mount Joliet, and Mount Flat Head, 
when excavated, show pebbles, worn smooth by water friction, 
and deposited in the same manner as such pebbles are in a 
gravel bank. 

4. The Blue Mounds and others in Wisconsin, and those 
in the Indian Territory west of Arkansas, are perfectly simi- 
lar in shape to these, and yet furnish most unequivocal evi- 
dence that they are not the production of human labor. The 
Blue Mounds are united, yet so as to leave a depression at 
their junction. They are elevated from 200 to 300 feet above 
the surrounding prairie, and furnish a most splendid prospect 
for fifty miles. One has from 30 to 60 acres of level prairie on 
its top. Surrounding them is a bench or plateau, similar to 
Monk Hill. Springs of water gush out from the base. 

The Arkansas mounds are stupendous conical elevations, 
200 feet in height, ranging in a line with each other for ten 
or twelve miles over an immense and nearly level prairie. 
They are level on the top, and contain each from two to five 
acres of table land, while their sides are so steep as to be inac- 
cessible except in one or two places. 

Are all these the works of art, made by extinct races of 
men ? There need be no doubt but many of the smaller 
mounds, from 20 to 50 feet in height, are also natural forma- 
tions, made probably by the same laws that have scooped out 
the valleys of our rivers, produced our ranges of bluffs, and 
singularly shaped knobs, and excavated the innumerable sink 
holes in our caverriQUB limestone regions. 


That there are mounds in the west, which have been pro- 
duced by human labor, I have no doubt. But that this is true 
respecting all, or a large proportion of the mounds, I have evi- 
dence enough for my satisfaction to the contrary. The follow, 
ing instance passed under my own observation. To the facts 
I give my decided testimony, and I publish it because it may 
cast some light upon this curious and interesting subject. 

In June, 1832, 1 made a visit to Naples, and spent a night 
with Messrs. A. & M. Collins. They had just finished the 
excavation of the cellar for a large brick house, to be situated 
on one of these mounds. The mound, before any excavation 
was made, had been a double one, showing the appearance of 
a long ridge, twelve feet in height, from 60 to 70 feet in length, 
about 40 feet wide at the base, and a depression of about five 
feet in the center. It was contiguous to and appeared to form 
a portion of a sand ridge, stretching along the bank of the 
Illinois from the upper part of Naples, for two miles or more. 
This ridge is elevated above the surrounding plain, some 20 or 
25 feet, and covered with brush wood and scattering timber. 
The mound at the highest parts, was elevated above the sand 
ridge from ten to twelve feet, and presented all the external 
marks that any mound does of artificial formation. 

In excavating the cellar, the Messrs. Collins had dug into 
the side of the mound, arid descended somewhat lower than 
the base, and in levelling their back yard they removed the 
remaining portion of the mound. One half the mound was a 
stiff clay, that required the mattock to loosen it, while the other 
half was sand, easily removed by the plough or spade. The 
division occurred exactly in the line of depression heretofore 
noticed, and the work was left in the best state possible at the 
time of my visit for careful and thorough examination. My 
attention was first called by the owners of the property to the 
difference of substrata for the foundation of a large house with 
heavy brick walls, clay at one end, and sand'for the other end, 
and my opinion requested whether the walls would be likely to 
receive injury in settling. My curiosity was at once arrested, 
and I determined to spare no pains to investigate this mound. 
The division line between the clay and sand was not perpen- 
dicular, but at an angle of about 75 or 80 degrees from a hori- 
zontal position, and it evidently penetrated the ridge below the 
base of the mound. After taking an observation from the wall 
of the cellar, I followed the ridge some 200 or 300 yards, 


keeping an angle of about 45 degrees from a parallel with the 
river, till I reached the bank where the water had recently 
washed away the earth. Here I found the same line of divi- 
sion between the sand and clay substratum as had existed in 
the mound. I knew also, that our bottom lands on the Missis- 
sippi and the Illinois are formed not only by alternate layers, 
but by successive bodies of clay and of sand. I had seen the 
preceding day betwixt Meredosia and Naples, small ridges in 
the low bottom, of clay and of sand alternating of one and two 
feet elevation, produced by the inundations of the preceding 
spring. All the facts, after careful observation, produced 
entire conviction that the mound was formed by the same 
laws, probably by the action of water, as the adjoining ridge 
and whole bottom. In this opinion the Messrs. Collins united. 

But there are another class of facts to be noticed. Near the 
base of the mound the remains of three human skeletons were 
dug up. The bones were much decayed, and most of them 
crumbled upon exposure to the atmosphere. The skull of one, 
and some of the bones of the superior extremities were pre- 
served for some time. One of the skeletons had silver bands 
around the arms and silver hasps around the wrists, such as 
Indians frequently receive as presents from the government 
and traders. Within the bands were strips of green cloth, 
evidently of European manufacture. It appeared as though 
the body had been buried in a full dress of broadcloth, which 
had entirely decayed, except where protected by the silver 
ornaments. Four feet below the surface, in tne sand portion 
of the mound, three kettles were found, about the size and 
shape as those used by hunters and Indians. One was entirely 
of copper, much corroded with verdegrease, one was of sheet 
iron, with a copper bottom, fastened with rivets, and the other 
was wholly of sheet iron, much corroded by rust. 

At the base of the sand mound, eleven feet from the surface, 
small bones, apparently of animals and fowls, were discovered, 
and many pieces of earthenware, well burnt, or hardened in 
the sun, figured, but not glazed. 

Here are facts that show the persons exhumed, lived, died, 
and were buried since the discovery of Illinois by Europeans, 
and the establishment of trade in the country; but that the 
mound had been subsequently formed could scarcely admit of 
doubt. But there are other facts that should be viewed in 
connection with the existence of human skeletons, in any 

110 traveler's directory 

tolerable state of preservation in mounds, in the west. Our 
soil is highly calcarious, loose, and entirely pervious to water. 
The human skeleton will decompose in a much shorter period 
than has elapsed since the visits of Europeans to Illinois. This 
is a subject that deserves thorough investigation. The writer 
has discovered facts that in a very large majority of cases, even 
when protected by a coffin, the work of decomposition has 
been finished in half a century. Scarcely an instance can be 
found where any considerable portions of the skeleton lasts 
one hundred years, except in caves or other places, where 
nitrous qualities are mixed with common earth. Hence the 
artificial formation of our western mounds, and the existence 
of extinct races of men, who inhabited this country, prior to 
the Indian race, cannot be proved from the existence of human 
skeletons in mounds, or any where else, subject to the ordinary 
laws of decomposition. 

I have admitted that some of the mounds are the works of 
man ; — formed, probably, during a series of years by repeated 
applications of human effort. Who made them, and for what 
purposes were they constructed, are questions of some interest 
in antiquarian research. The narrative of the expedition of 
Hernando de Soto, throws some light on this subject. The 
expedition of De Soto into Florida, as North America was 
then called, in 1539, 1540, and 1541, three hundred years 
since, was one of the most wild, chivalrous and fatal expe- 
ditions of those times. He had previously signalized himself, 
and amassed an immense fortune in following the fortunes of 
Pizarro in the conquest of Peru. Having obtained the ap- 
pointment of Governor and Captain General for life, of Florida 
rtnd the Island of Cuba, he fitted out an expedition for the 
Conquest of Florida of a thousand men, three hundred and 
fifty horses, with swine, cattle, &c, to stock the country. 
Their avowed object, like that of the conquerors of Mexico 
and Peru, was gold and conquest. After various successes and 
reverses of fortune, through portions of" Georgia, Alabama, 
Mississippi, and Tennessee, during which they conquered and 
wintered in the town of Mauvila, or Mobile, (tracing their 
course by the names of rivers they passed,) they reached the 
Mississippi river, not far from Little Prairie below New Madrid. 
De Soto died with a fever, near where Helena is now situated, 
but a portion of his men, under the command of his successor, 
pushed westward, over the vast prairies, till they came in sight 


of the Rocky Mountains. Eventually the survivors of the 
expedition constructed brigantines, and made their way down 
the Mississippi. Only a small remnant of De Soto's army 
ever reached Cuba. 

The narrative of this expedition was written in Portuguese 
by one of the officers, and also in Spanish by the Inca Garci- 
laso de la Vega, who obtained his information from repeated 
conversations with the survivors, and their private journals. 

The Portuguese narrative was translated and published in 
London, in 1686, and is found in an abridgment of "Purchas' 
Pilgrims." The Spanish narrative by De La Vega was pub- 
lished in Madrid, and has been copied by Herrara, who is 
frequently quoted by Robertson in his history of America. 

Both the Spanish and Portuguese narratives were carefully 
examined a few years since by Theodore Irving Esq., a nephew 
of Washington Irving, while in Madrid, and an interesting 
work, the " Conquest of Florida," published in 1835, by that 

I have mentioned these particulars to show the authority on 
which I rely for some light on the questions proposed, who 
made these mounds that are artificial, and for what purposes 
were they erected ? 

In the narrative referred to, I find frequent mention made of 
the towns, the cemeteries, and of the residences of the chiefs 
of the tribes of Indians, through which the army of Hernando 
De Soto passed. 

The following are the facts gleaned : — 

1. Their towns were frequently enclosed with an em- 
bankment of earth, sometimes with a palisade of logs, and 
with a ditch. In one instance, the town of Capaha, near the 
Mississippi, which was separated from the Casquin Indians, 
[qu. Kaskaskias ?] by a large swamp, contained 500 large 
nouses, was built on high ground, was nearly enclosed with a 
deep moat or ditch, 50 paces broad ; and where the moat did 
not extend, was defended with a strong wall of timber and 
plaister. The moat was filled with water by a canal, cut from 
the Mississippi, which was about three leagues distant. As 
this was the most northerly point they reached on the Missis, 
sippi, it must have been not far from Little Prairie, near the 
southeastern corner of the State of Missouri. 

112 traveler's directory 

2. The burial places of many of the tribes of Indians, 
were large vaults, excavated from the earth, and roofed over 
with timbers and earth. The Indians in their wars did not 
confine their assaults to the living They often broke into 
these depositories of the dead, trampled upon their bodies, 
scattered about the bones, and wreaked upon them all kinds 
of insults for past injuries, which the deceased had inflicted 
upon their tribe. 

The Casquin Indians attacked the town of Capaha, while 
De Soto was in the country. " They broke into the grand 
sepulchre or mausoleum, in the public square," which the 
Indians held sacred, and where were deposited the remains of 
the ancestors of their Cacique or king. These vaults, or 
burying places, when the timbers decayed, and the cavity was 
filled up, would form a mound, and account for those mounds 
which when opened, contain fragments of bone, and phos- 
phate of lime, in. large quantities. 

3. The houses of their chiefs were built on the highest 
eminence in the town, and frequently when no natural promi- 
nence existed, they formed one by immense labor. Thus it 
was in the town of Anilco in a province of the same name, 
which appears to have been situated in Arkansas, probably on 
White river. It was in a champaign country on a river, and 
contained about 400 houses, built around a public square. 
" The residence of the Cacique, as usual, was posted on a 
high artificial mound." 

The town of Aminoya appears to have been situated in 
the vicinity of the present town of Helena, about thirty mile9 
above the Arkansas. Here. Moscoso, the successor of De 
Soto in command, passed the winter of 1540-'41, and built 
his brigantines to descend the Mississippi. In the month of 
March, the Mississippi rose to a fearful height, and overflowed 
the whole country and even the town, though built upon the 
highest ground. 

" It was in consequence of these inundations, says the 
Spanish historian, that the Indians built their villages on high 
hills, or artificial mounds. The houses of the chieftains 
were often built on piles, with upper floors, where they might 
take refuge from the freshets."* 

* Conquest ol" Florida, vol. 2, p. 229. 


Here some interesting conclusions might be drawn : — 

1. That when a natural mound was not at hand, the 
Indians made an artificial one, on which they erected the 
houses of their chiefs. 

2. That in some instances on the bottoms subject to 
inundation, they raised mounds for the whole village. 

3. That in all probability the waters of the Mississippi and 
other western rivers, rose much higher upon the bottom lands, 
three hundred years since than at this time. And as every 
successive inundation brings on a large quantity of alluvial 
deposit, often to the depth of a foot and more in a single 
season in places, and as the river may have deepened ks own 
channel, it is probable that extensive tracts of bottom lands, 
now entirely dry, and elevated several feet above the river at 
its highest floods, were once subject to annual inundations. 

We have reached at least one point in these brief antiqua- 
rian researches. We have discovered that the ancestry of the 
present race of Indians, selected conical eminences wherever 
conveniently situated, and made artificial elevations where 
they did not exist, for the houses of their chiefs, and to protect 
themselves from the inundations of the rivers. We have found 
also that their towns were walled in, sometimes with an em- 
bankment of earth, in other instances with palisades, and in 
one instance a town surrounded with a stone wall is men- 

Of the ancient military works in Illinois, that now remain 
even in a dilapidated state, Fort Charter is probably the most 
ancient. It was originally built by the French in 1720, to 
defend themselves against the Spaniards, who were then 
taking possession of the country on the Mississippi. It was 
rebuilt in 1756. The circumstances, character, form, and 
history of this fort are interesting, but I have not room in this 
place to give them. Once it was a most formidable piece of 
masonry, the materials of which were brought three or four 
miles from the bluffs. It was originally an irregular quadran- 
gle, the exterior sides of which were 490 feet in circumference. 
Within the walls were the commandant's and commissary's 
houses, a magazine for stores, barracks, powder magazine, 
bake house, guard house, and prison. 

This prodigious military work is now a heap of ruins. 
Many of the hewn stone have been removed by the people to 

114 traveler's directory 

Kaskaskia. A slough from the Mississippi approached and 
undermined the wall on one side in 1772. Over the whole 
fort is a considerable growth of trees, and most of its walls and 
buildings have fallen down and lie in one promiscuous ruin. 

Pertaining to the antiquities of Illinois, is the following 
curious discovery, made by John Russell, Esq., in the range of 
bluffs that overhang Bluffdale, in Greene county, the place of 
his residence. 

At an elevation of 80 feet above the valley, in a projecting 
cliff, and imbedded amongst a mass of loose rocks, Mr. R. 
found on excavating, three shells, nearly similar, each of which 
exhibited the following characteristics : — 

1. They were univalve, and had been bisected, the edges 
worked off, and the inside excavated, so as to resemble some- 
what in appearance the half of a slender, straight gourd, with 
a neck tapering proportionably in size from the body. 

2. Each had evidently been used as an article of furniture, 
and had been prepared for the purpose by some sharp instru- 
ment, and each holds about three pints. 

3." They are unquestionably of salt water origin, and belong 
to a description of shells not found in the waters of the Atlantic, 
or on any part of the American Continent. Similar shells are 
to be found in the South Pacific Ocean, and about the Feejee 

4. They were most unquestionably deposited in 'these 
bluffs at the period of their formation. The position in which 
they were found would preclude the idea of their subsequent 
deposition by human or other means. They are not fossil 
remains, in the sense of having undergone any change in their 
structure, being purely natural shells, fashioned into ladles by 
the art of man. Very limited knowledge of the science of 
Conchology prevents me from defining the genus and species 
of these interesting remains. They are highly deserving the 
attention of the curious, and are yet in the possession of John 
Russell, Esq., Postmaster at Bluffdale, Illinois. 

The Fossil Tree of the Des Plaines has been fully described 
by Mr. Schoolcraft, in a memoir read before the American 
Geological Society, in 1821. 

It lies in a horizontal position, imbedded in a stratum of floetz 
sandstone, of a gray color and close grain. The middle por- 


tion of the trunk is fifty-one feet six inches in length, and is 
eighteen inches in diameter at the smallest end. It is a 
species of the juglans nigra, or black walnut, a tree common 
to the Illinois, and completely petrified. It lies in the bed 
of the Des Plaines about forty rods above its junction with the 

Petrifications are very common in Illinois. The " lost 
rocks," or- boulders scattered over a surface of an evident 
diluvial deposit, are a curiosity. They are in great numbers 
towards the heads of the Kaskaskia and Sangamon rivers, and 
become more numerous, and are found at various depths in 
the soil, as the traveler passes northward along the great 
prairies. Indeed the geological formation of the whole state, 
presents a rich field for investigation in that science. 

The antiquities of Illinois are similar to those of other wes- 
tern states. Indian graves are common, especially along the 
bluffs. Fragments of bones, and not unfrequentby whole 
skeletons, in a tolerable state of preservation, are found depos- 
ited from two to three feet below the surface. In not a few 
instances they are found enclosed with stone slabs, undressed, 
and obtained from the neighboring cliffs. There are no proofs of 
a pigmy race of aborigines in the western states. Graves are 
not unfrequent where the length from the head to the foot 
stone, does not exceed four feet, and yet contain the skeleton 
of an adult of full stature. In such instances, it will be found 
upon careful examination of the position of the bones, that 
the leg and thigh bones He parallel, and that the corpse was 
inhumed with the knees bent into that position. Some bones 
of unusual size have been discovered, but I am not acquainted 
with facts to justify a supposition of a race of giants. Bones 
of a huge animal, but different from the Mammoth, have been 
found in St. Clair county. 

About the Gallatin and Big Muddy salines, large fragments 
of earthenware, are very frequently found, under the surface 
of the earth. They appear to have been portions of large 
kettles, used, probably, by the natives for obtaining salt. Small 
fragments of earthenware, arrow and spear heads, stone axes 
and mallets, and other antiquities, are found in various parts 
of the state. Silver coins of ancient origin have been found 
at Kaskaskia. They were probably brought there by the 
Jesuits, or the early French emigrants. 

116 traveler's directory 

Of one thing the writer is satisfied, that very imperfect and 
incorrect data have been relied upon, and very erroneous con- 
elusions drawn, upon western antiquities. Whoever has time 
and patience, and is in other respects qualified to explore this 
field of science, and will use his spade and eyes together, and 
restrain his imagination from running riot amongst mounds, 
fortifications, horse shoes, medals, and whole cabinets of relics 
of the " olden time," will find very little more than the indica- 
tions of rude savages, the ancestors of the present race of 


The northern portion of Illinois is inexhaustibly rich in 
mineral productions, while coal, secondary limestone, and sand- 
stone, are found in every part. 

Iron ore has been found in the southern parts of the State, 
and is said to exist in considerable quantities in the northern 

Native copper in small quantities has been found on Muddy 
river, in Jackson county, and back of Harrisonville, in the 
bluffs of Monroe county. One mass weighing seven pounds 
was found detached at the latter place. A shaft was sunk 
forty feet deep in 1817, in search of this metal, but without 
success. Red oxide of iron and oxide of copper were dug 
out. Crystallized gypsum has been found in small quantities 
in St. Clair county. Quartz crystals exist in Gallatin county. 

Silver is supposed to exist in St. Clair county, two miles 
from Rock Spring, from whence Silver Creek derives its name. 
In the early times, by the French, a shaft was sunk here, and 
tradition tells of large quantities of the precious metal being 
obtained. In 1828, many persons in this vicinity commenced 
digging, and began to dream of immense fortunes, which 
however vanished during the following winter. They dug up 
considerable quantities of home blende, the shining specula 
of ...which were mistaken for silver. 

In the southern part of the state several sections of land 
have been reserved from sale, on account of the silver ore 
they are supposed to contain. Marble of a fine quality is found 
in Randolph county. 

Lead is found in vast quantities in the northern part of Illi- 
nois, and the adjacent territory. Here are the richest lead 


mines hitherto discovered on the globe. This portion of 
country lies principally north of Rock river south of the Wis- 
consin river. Dubuque's, and other rich mines, are west of 
the Mississippi. 

Native copper, in large quantities, exists in this region, espe- 
cially at the mouth of Plum creek, and on the Peekatonakee, 
marked on the map, above Rock river, which puts into the 
Mississippi. Peekatonakee is a branch of Rock river. 

The lead diggings in the northern part of the State and 
adjacent territories, extend over a tract of country, probably 
one hundred miles square. The Indians and French had 
long been accustomed to procure lead in small quantities in 
this region, but the business of mining and smelting was not 
attempted by Americans until 1822. 

Since that period vast quantities have been procured. In 
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, the amount of lead manufac- 
tured from 1823, to September 30, 1835, exceeded seventy 
millions of pounds. The product by this time, probably, equals 
in the whole 85,000,000 ; averaging about 6,500,000" pounds 
per annum. The rent for mining on government lands is six 
per cent, of the proceeds. 

Coal. Bituminous coal abounds in this state and may be 
found in nearly every county. It is frequently perceived 
without excavation in the ravines and at the points of bluffs. 

Exhaustless beds of this article exist in the bluffs adjacent 
to the American bottom in St. Clair county, of which large 
quantities are annually transported to St. Louis for fuel. 

A large vein of coal, several feet thick, and apparently 
exhaustless, has been struck in excavating the Illinois and 
Michigan canal, a few miles below Ottawa. 

Muriate of Soda, or common salt. This is found in various 
parts of the state, held in solution in the springs. The manu- 
facture of salt by boiling and evaporation is carried on in Gal- 
latin county, twelve miles west-north-west from Shawneetown; 
in Jackson county, near Brownsville ; and in Vermilion county, 
near Danviile. The springs and land are owned by the state, 
and the works leased. 

Valuable building stone is found in various parts of the State. 
A quarry of coarse free stone has been opened in the bluffs of 
the Mississippi, five miles above Alton. The quarry near 

118 traveler's directory 

Springfield, from which the rock is taken to erect the new 
state house, is hard, works well, and is supposed to be equal 
to granite for architectural purposes. Water cement lime, is 
found in abundance, especially on the line of the Illinois and 
Michigan canal, in exhaustless quantities. 

Scattered over the surface of our prairies, are large masses 
of rock, of granitic formation, roundish in form, usually called 
by the people, " lost rocks." They will weigh from one thou- 
sand to ten or twelve thousand pounds, and are entirely de- 
tached, and frequently are found several miles distant from 
any quarry. Nor has there ever been a quarry of granite dis- 
covered in the state. These stones are denominated bowlders 
in minerology. That they exist in various parts of Illinois is 
an undoubted truth ; and that they are a species of granite is 
equally true, as I have specimens to show. They usually lie 
on the surface, or are partially imbedded in the soil of our 
prairies, which is unquestionably of diluvial formation. How 
they came here is a question of difficult solution. 

Medicinal Waters are found in different parts of the state. 
These are chiefly sulphur springs and chalybeate waters. There 
is said to be one well in the southern part of the state strongly 
impregnated with the sulphate of magnesia, or Epsom salts, 
from which considerable quantities have been made for sale, by 
simply evaporating the water, in a kettle, over a common fire. 

There are several sulphur springs in Jefferson county, to 
which persons resort for health. 

An excellent ehalybeate spring exists near Coltonsville, in 
De Kalb county. 


The principal trees and shrubs of Illinois have been noticed 
under the head of " Forest or timbered land." Of oaks there 
are several species, as overcup, burr oak. swamp or water oak, 
white oak, red or Spanish oak, post oak, and black oak of 
several varieties, with the black jack, a dwarfish, knarled look- 
ing tree, excellent for fuel, but good for nothing else. 

The black walnut is much used for building materials and 
cabinet work, and sustains a fine polish. 

In most parts of the state, grape vines, indigenous to the 
country, are abundant, which yield grapes that might advan- 
tageously be made into excellent wine. Foreign vines are 


susceptible of easy cultivation. These are cultivated to a 
considerable extent at Vevay, Switzerland county, Indiana, 
and at New Harmony on the Wabash. The indigenous vines 
are prolific, and produce excellent fruit. They are found in 
every variety of soil; interwoven in every thicket in the 
prairies and barrens ; and climbing to the very highest trees 
on the bottoms. 

The wild plum is found in every part of the state ; but in 
most instances the fruit is too sour for use, unless for preserves. 
Crab apples are equally prolific, and make fine preserves with 
about double their bulk of sugar. Wild cherries are equally 
productive. The persimmon is a delicious fruit, after the frost 
has destroyed its astringent properties. 

The gooseberry, strawberry, and blackberry grow wild and 
in great profusion. Of our nuts, the hickory, black walnut, 
and pecaun deserve notice. The last is an oblong, thin shelled, 
delicious nut, that grows on a large tree, a species of the 
hickory, (the Carya olives formis of Nuttal.) The pawpaw 
grows in the bottoms, and rich timbered uplands, and pro. 
duces a large, pulpy, and luscious fruit. Of domestic fruits, 
the apple and peach are chiefly cultivated. Pears are tolerably 
plenty in the French settlements, and quinces are cultivated 
with success by some Americans. Apples are easily culti- 
vated, and are very productive. They can be made to bear 
fruit to considerable advantage in seven years from the seed. 
Many varieties are of fine flavor, and grow to a large size. I 
have measured apples, the growth of St. Clair county, that ex- 
ceeded thirteen inches in circumference. Some of the early 
American settlers provided orchards. They now reap the ad- 
vantages. But a large proportion of the population of the 
frontiers are content without this indispensable article in the 
comforts of a yankee farmer. Cider is made in small quanti. 
ties in the old settlemerfts. In a few years a supply of this 
beverage can be had in most parts of Illinois. 

Peach trees grow with great rapidity, and decay proportion 
ably soon. From ten to fifteen years may be considered the 
life of this tree. Our peaches are delicious, but they sometimes 
fail by being destroyed in the germ by winter frosts. The bud 
swells prematurely. 

The black mulberry grows in most parts of the state, and 
has been used for the feeding of silk worms with success. 
Much attention begins to be shown to the cultivation of the 


Italian and Chinese species. Perhaps no state in the Union is 
more advantageously situated for the silk business than Illinois. 

Many gentlemen in the different counties are preparing for 
this business by securing nurseries and hedges of the Morus 

The sugar beet can be cultivated with the greatest ease : our 
light, loamy soil, being admirably adapted to its rapid and 
large growth. » 

Garden Vegetables can be produced here in vast profusion, 
and of excellent quality. 

That we have few of the elegant and well dressed gardens 
of gentlemen in the old states, is admitted ; which is not owing 
to climate, or soil, but to the want of leisure and means. 

A cabbage head two or three feet in diameter including the 
leaves, is no wonder on this soil. Beets often exceed twelve 
inches in circumference. Parsnips will penetrate our light, 
poreous soil, to the depth of two or three feet. 

The cultivated vegetable productions in the field, are maize 
or Indian corn, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, Irish potatoes, 
sweet potatoes, turnips, rye for horse feed and distilleries, to- 
bacco, cotton, hemp, flax, the castor bean, and every other 
production common to the middle states. 

Maize is a staple production. No farmer can do without it, 
and hundreds raise little else. This is chiefly owing to the 
ease with which it is cultivated. Its average yield is fifty 
bushels to the acre. I have oftentimes seen it produce seventy, 
five bushels to the acre, and in a fev/ instances, exceed one 

The Baden corn begins to be raised in Illinois. Its yield 
has been from 100 to 130 bushels per acre. 

Wheat yields a good and sure crop, especially in the coun- 
ties bordering on the Illinois river, and through the northern 
parts of the state. It weighs upward% of 60 pounds per bush- 
el ; and flour from this region has preference in the New Or- 
leans market, and passes better inspection than the same article 
from Ohio or Kentucky. 

The market value of a single crop of wheat will pay for the 
land at government price, for breaking up the prairie, for fencing 
and cultivating, for seed, harvesting, threshing, and taking to 

The cultivation cf spring wheat begins to attract attention in 
eome counties ; and the economical farmer, to avail himself of 


the diversity of seasons, and a sure crop, will cultivate both 

The price of wheat varies from 75 cents to $1 25, accord, 
ing to locality, mills, price of flour abroad, and other circum- 

Flouring mills are now in operation in many of the wheat- 
growing counties. Steam power is getting into extensive use 
both for sawing and manufacturing flour. ,. 

It is to be regretted that so few of our farmers have erected 
barns for the security of their crops. No article is more pro- 
fitable, and really more indispensable to a farmer, than a large 

Oats have not been much raised till lately. They are very 
productive, often yielding from forty to fifty bushels on the acre, 
and usually sell from twenty to thirty cents the bushel. The 
demand for the use of stage and travelers' horses is increasing. 

Hemp is an indigenous plant in the southern part of this 
state, as it is in Missouri. It has not been extensively culti- 
vated, but wherever tried, is found very productive, and of an 
excellent quality. It might be made a staple of the country. 

Tobacco, though a filthy and noxious weed, which no human 
being ought ever to use, can he produced in any quantity, and 
of the first quality, in Illinois. 

Cotton, for many years, has been successfully cultivated in 
this state for domestic use, and some for exportation. Two or 
three spinning factories are in operation, and produce cotton 
yarn from the growth of the country with promising success. 
This branch of business admits of enlargement, and invites 
the attention of eastern manufacturers with small capital. Much 
of the cloth made in families who have emigrated from states 
south of the Ohio, is from the cotton of the country. 

Flax is produced, and of a tolerable quality, but not equal to 
that of the northern states. It is said to be productive and good 
in the northern counties. There is an oil mill to manufacture 
oil from the seed, in Sangamon county. 

The pal ma christi, or castor oil bean, is produced in con 
siderable quantities in Madison, Randolph, and other counties, 
and large quantities of oil are expressed, and sent abroad. 

Sweet potatoes are a delicious root, and yield abundantly, 
especially on the American bottom, and the rich sandy prairies 
in the southern part of the state. 


The prairie grass is cut for hay in large quantities in the 
more recently settled parts of the state. It looks coarse and 
unsavory, and yet cattle thrive well upon it. 

In a few years this grass disappears, and it becomes neces- 
sary to supply its place by cultivated grasses. Timothy, red- 
top, and herds grass, are easily cultivated, and are profitable 

A species of blue grass is cultivated by some farmers for 
pastures. If well set, and not eaten down in summer, blue 
grass pastures may be kept green and fresh till late in autumn, 
or even in the winter. The English spire grass has been cul- 
tivated with success in the Wabash country. 

Of the trefoil, or clover, there is but little cultivated. It 
grows luxuriantly, and may be cut for hay early in June. The 
white clover comes in naturally, where the ground has been 
cultivated, and thrown by, or along the sides of old roads and 
paths. Clover pastures would be excellent for swine. 


Of wild animals, there are several species. The buffalo is 
not found on this side the Mississippi, nor within several hun- 
dred miles of St. Louis. This animal once roamed at large 
over the prairies of Illinois, and was found in plenty thirty years 
since. Wolves, panthers, and wild-cats, are still numerous 
on the frontiers, and through the unsettled portions of the 
country. Wolves harbor in almost every county, and annoy 
the farmer by destroying. his sheep and pigs. There are three 
species found in Illinois : 

1. The large gray wolf, or canis lupus of Linnaeus, is not 
very plenty, and not commonly found in the older setdements. 

2. The black wolf, or canis lycaon of Linnseus, is scarce. 
Occasionally they are killed by our hunters. 

3. The canis latrans of Say, or common prairie wolf, is the 
most common, and found in considerable numbers. This mis- 
chievous animal is but little larger than the common fox, bur- 
rows in the prairies, and comes forth in the night to attack 
sheep, pigs, poultry, &c. Many of the settlers keep hounds 
to guard against the depredations of this animal. 

Panthers and wild-cats are less common, but occasionally do 


Deer are also very numerous, and are valuable, particularly 
to that class of our population which has been raised to fron- 
tier habits ; the flesh affording them food, and the skins, cloth, 
ing. Fresh venison hams usually sell seventy-five cents, 
to one dollar fifty cents a pair ; and, when properly cured, are 
a delicious article. Many of the frontier people dress their 
skins, and make them into pantaloons and hunting shirts. 
These articles are indispensable to all who have occasion to 
travel in viewing land, or for any other purpose beyond the 
settlements, as cloth garments, in the shrubs and vines, would 
soon be in strings. 

It is a novel and pleasant sight to a stranger, to see the deer 
in flocks of eight, ten, or fifteen in number, feeding on the grass 
of the prairies, or bounding away at the sight of a traveler. 

The brown bear is also an inhabitant of this state, although 
he is continually retreating before the advance of civilization. 

Foxes, raccoons, opossums, gophars, and squirrels, are also 
numerous, as are muskrats, otters, and occasionally beaver, 
about our rivers and lakes. Raccoons are very common, and 
frequently do mischief in the fall to our corn. Opossums some- 
times trouble the poultry. I have a few facts reported to me 
from sources entitled to great credit, that the production of the 
young of this singular and extraordinary animal, is different 
from the ordinary process of generation in viviparous animals. 
The fetus is found adhering to the teat, within the false belly, 
at the very first stage of existence. 

The gophar is a singular little animal, about the size of a 
squirrel. It burrows in the ground, is seldom seen, but i's 
works make it known. It labors during the night, in digging 
subterranean passages in the rich soil of the prairies, and throws 
up hillocks of fresh earth, within a few feet distance from each 
other, and from twelve to eighteen inches in height. I have 
seen a dozen of these hillocks, the production of one night's 
labor, and apparently from a single gophar. The passages are 
formed in such a labyrinth, that it is a difficult matter to find the 
animal by digging. 

The gray and fox squirrels often do mischief in the corn fields, 
and the hunting of them makes fine sport for the boys. It is 
a rule amongst the Kentucky riflemen to shoot a squirrel only 
through his eyes, and that from the tops of the highest trees of 
the forest. It is evidence of a bad marksman, for a hunter to 
hit one in any other part. 


Cetnmon rabbits exist in every thicket. These animals an- 
noy nurseries and young orchards exceedingly. The fence 
around a nursery must always be so close as to shut out rab- 
bits, and young apple-trees must be secured at the approach ol 
winter, by tying straw or corn stalks around their bodies, for 
two or three feet in height, or the bark will be stripped off by 
these mischievous animals. 

Domestic Animals. — These are the same as are found in 
other portions of the United States. But little has been done 
to improve the breed of horses amongst us. Our common 
riding or working horses average about fifteen hands in height. 
Horses are much more used here than in the eastern states, and 
many a farmer keeps half a dozen or more. Much of the 
traveling throughout the western country, both by men and 
women, is performed on horseback ; and a large proportion of 
the land carriage is by mean's of large wagons, with from four 
to six stout horses for a team. A great proportion of the plough- 
ing is performed by horse labor. Horses are more subject to 
diseases in this country than in the old states, which is thought 
to be occasioned by bad management, rather than by the cli- 
mate. A good farm horse can be purchased for fifty dollars. 
Riding, or carriage horses, of a superior quality, cost about 
sixty, eighty, or a hundred dollars. Breeding mares are profit- 
able stock for every farmer to keep, as their annual expense in 
keeping is but trifling, their labor is always needed, and their 
colts, when grown, find a ready market. Some farmers keep 
a stallion, and eight or ten brood mares. 

• Mules are raised in Missouri, and are also brought from the 
Mexican dominions into Illinois. They are hardy animals, 
grow to a good size, and are used by some both for labor and 

Our neat cattle are usually inferior in size to those of the old 
states. This is owing entirely to bad management. Our cows 
are not penned up in pasture fields, but suffered to run at large 
over the commons. Hence all the calves are preserved, with- 
out respect to quality, to entice the cows homeward at evening. 
They are kept up through the day, and oftentimes without 
much pasture, and turned to the cows for a few minutes at 
night, and then permitted to graze through the night over the 
fihort and withered grass around the plantation. 

In autumn, their food is very scanty, and during the winter 
they are permitted to pick up a precarious subsistence amongst 


fifty or a hundred head of cattle. With such management, is 
it surprising that our cows and steers are much inferior to those 
of the old states ? 

And yet, our beef is the finest in the world. It bears the 
best inspection of any in the New Orleans market. By the 
first of June, and often by the middle of May, our young cat- 
tle on the prairies are fit for market. They do not yield large 
quantities of tallow, but the fat is well proportioned throughout 
the carcass, and the meat tender and delicious. By inferiority, 
then, I mean the size of our cattle in general, and the quantity 
and quality of the milk of cows. 

Common cows, if suffered to lose their milk in August, be- 
come sufficiently fat for table use by October. Farrow heifers 
and steers, are good beef, and fit for the knife at any period 
after the middle of May. Nothing is more common than for 
an Illinois farmer to go among his stock, select, shoot down, 
and dress a fine beef, whenever fresh meat is needed. This 
is often divided out amongst the neighbors, who, in turn, kill 
and share likewise. It is common at camp and other large 
meetings, to kill a beef, and three or four hogs, for the subsist, 
ence of friends from a distance. 

We can hardly place limits upon the amount of beef cattle 
that Illinois is capable of producing. A farmer calls himself 
poor, with a hundred head of horned cattle around him. A 
cow in the spring is worth from twelve to twenty dollars. Some 
of the best quality will sell higher. And let it be distinctly un- 
derstood, once for all, that a poor man can always purchase 
horses, cattle, hogs, and provisions, for labor, either by the 
day, month, or job. 

Cows, in general, do not produce the same amount of milk, 
nor of as rich a quality as in older states. Something is to be 
attributed to the nature of our pastures, and the warmth of our 
climate, but more to causes already assigned. If ever a land 
was characterised justly as " flowing with milk and honey," it 
is Illinois and the adjacent states. From the springing of the 
grass till September, butter is made in great profusion. It sells 
at that season in market for about twenty cents, and in the in- 
terior of the state for twelve cents per pound. With proper 
care it can be preserved with tolerable sweetness for winter's 
use. Late in autumn and early in the winter, sometimes but- 
ter is not plenty. The feed becomes dry, the cows range fur- 
ther off, and do not come up readily for milking, and dry up. 

126 traveler's directory 

A very little trouble would enable a farmer to keep three 01 
four good cows in fresh milk at the season most needed. 

Cheese is made by many families, especially, in the counties 
bordering on the Illinois river. Good cheese sells for eight and 
sometimes ten cents, and finds a ready market. The most im- 
portant arrangement for the dairy business in Illinois, and espe- 
cially for cheese making is to persuade a few thousand families, 
from the dairy regions of New England, to emigrate, and con- 
tinue their industrious habits after settling here. 

Swine. This species of stock may be called a staple in the 
provision of Illinois. Thousands of hogs are raised without 
any expense, except a few breeders to start with, and a little 
attention in hunting them on the range, and keeping them 

This kind of pork is by no means equal to that raised and 
fatted on corn, and in a domestic way. It is soft, oily, and 
will not bear inspection at New Orleans. It usually sells for 
three dollars per hundred. 

Pork that is made in a domestic way and fatted on corn, 
will sell for from four to five dollars, according to size, quality, 
and the time when it is delivered. With a pasture of clover 
or blue grass, a well filled corn crib, a dairy, and slop barrel, 
and the usual care that a New Englander bestows on his pigs, 
pork may be raised from the sow, fatted and killed, and weigh 
from two hundred to two hundred and fifty, within twelve 
months, and this method of raising pork would be profitable. 

Few families in the west and south put up their pork in salt 
pickle. Their method is to salt it sufficiently to prepare it for 
smoking, and then make bacon of hams, shoulders, and mid- 
dlings or broadsides. The price of bacon, taking the hog 
round, is about ten and twelve cents. Good hams command 
twelve cents in the market. Stock hogs, weighing from sixty 
to one hundred pounds, alive, usually sell for from two dollars 
to two dollars and fifty cents per head. Families consume 
much more meat in Illinois, in proportion to numbers, than in 
the old states. 

Much improvement of late has been made in the breed of 
horses, cattle and swine, and the period is near at hand, when 
Illinois will more than rival any other western state, in the 
amount of her stock, and the quality of her provisions. 

From forty to fifty thousand hogs were slaughtered at Alton 
during the winter of 1838-9, some of which exceeded in weight 


600 pounds. The value of the pork and bacon exported from 
that port alone, equaled about $350,000. The business of 
packing pork and beef is also carried on at almost all the 
towns on the Mississippi, the Illinois, the Kaskaskia, and the 
Wabash rivers, and in many interior places. 

Sheep do very well in this country, especially in the older 
settlements, where the grass has become short, and they are 
less molested by wolves. But few are kept. The people from 
the south are more accustomed to cotton for clothing, than to 
wool, which sells for fifty cents per pound. Little is said or 
done to improve the breed of sheep, or introduce the Merino, 
or Saxony breed. Mr. George Flower, at Albion, has a valu- 
able flock of Saxony and Merino. 

Poultry are raised in great profusion — and large numbers 
of fowls taken to market. It is no uncommon thing for some 
farmers' wives to raise three or four hundred fowls, besides 
geese, ducks, and turkeys, in a season. Young fowls, butter, 
and eggs, are the three articles usually mustered from every 
farm for the market. By these means many families provide 
their coffee, sugar, tea, and various articles of apparel. 

Eggs, when plenty, as at the close of winter and spring, sell 
for ten and twelve cents per dozen. 

In noticing poultry, I ought not to pass over some of our wild 

Ducks, geese, swans, and many other aquatic birds, visit our 
waters in the spring. The small lakes and sloughs are often 
literally covered with them. Ducks, and some of the rest, fre- 
quently stay through the summer and breed. 

The prairie fowl is seen in great numbers on the prairies in 
the summer, and about the corn-fields in the winter. This is 
the grouse of the New York market. They are easily taken 
in the winter. 

Partridges, (the quail of New England) are taken with nets, 
in the winter, by hundreds in a day, and furnish no trifling 
item in the luxuries of the city market. 

Bees. This laborious and useful insect is to be found in the 
trees of every forest. Many of the frontier people make it a 
prominent business after the frost has killed the vegetation, to 
hunt them for the honey and wax, both of which find a ready 
market. Bees are profitable stock for the farmer, and are kept 
to a considerable extent. 

128 traveler's directory 

Silkworms are raised by a few persons. They are capable 
of being produced to any extent, and fed on the common black 
mulberry of the country. 


The congress of the United States, in the act for admitting 
the state of Illinois into the union upon equal footing with the 
other western states, granted to it the section numbered six- 
teen in every township, or one thirty-sixth part of all the pub- 
lic lands within the state, for the use of schools. The avails 
of this section are understood to constitute a fund for the bene- 
fit of the families living within the surveyed township, and not 
the portion of a common fund to be applied by the state for the 
general purposes of education. 

Three per cent, of the net proceeds of all the public lands, 
lying within this state, which shall be sold after the 1st of Janu- 
ary, 1819, is to be paid over by the general government, and 
constitute a common fund for education under the direction of 
the state authority. One sixth of this three per cent, fund, is 
to be exclusively bestowed upon a college, or university. 

Two entire townships, or 46,080 acres selected from choice 
portions of the public lands, have likewise been given to edu- 
cation. Part of this land has been sold by state authority, and 
the avails funded at six per cent, interest. 

The amount of funds realized from these sources, and under 
charge of the state, (independent of the sixteenth sections,) is 
about $384,183, the interest of which is now distributed an- 
nually to such schools, as make due returns to the proper au- 

By an act of the legislature of 1837, a moiety of the "sur- 
plus fund," received from the national treasury, was convert- 
ed into bank stock, and the income distributed to common 
schools. The income of the three per cent, from the sales of 
public lands, will continue as long as there are public lands to 
be sold. 

The unsold lands in this state belonging to the general gov- 
ernment, may be estimated at 18,000,000 of acres. Were 
this sold at the present minimum price, it would produce 
$22,500,000, of which three per cent, would be $675,000. 

But it is highly probable that this immense domain will not 
all be sold at its present price ; we will put the average value 


at 75 cents per acre, or $13,500,000, of which three per 
cent, belonging to this state, would give $405,000 for educa- 
tion purposes. 

The amount of the sections numbered sixteen, and reserved 
for schools in the respective townships, was estimated by the 
commissioner of public lands, and reported to Congress in 
April, 1832, at 977,457 acres in Illinois. 

This tract is not usually sold until the township in which it 
lies is somewhat populated, and hence commands a higher 
price than other lands. The section in the vicinity of Chicago 
was sold in November, 1833, (after reserving twelve acres,) 
for $38,705. Other tracts in settled portions of the state have 
been sold for from five to ten dollars per acre. 

Estimating the whole at two dollars per acre, the value is 

Present fund at interest, . ." . $ 384,183 
Value of Seminary lands unsold, . . 20,000 

Value of sections numbered sixteen, . . 1,954,914 
Estimate of the three per cent, fund on all 
public land now unsold in the state, at 75 
cents per acre 405.000 


Of the surplus fund from the United States Treasury re- 
ceived by Illinois, amounting to $417,919 14, the sum of 
$364,192 29 has been appropriated to and forms a part of the 
School fund. That fund on which interest is drawn and ap- 
propriated semi-annuahV to common schools, amounted, (in 
December, 1838,) to $614,667. The interest on this fund 
(six per cent.) is distributed among the various townships in 
the state, in proportion to the number of inhabitants. This, 
added to the interest accruing from the proceeds of the sections 
numbered sixteen, when sold, already pays about one half the 
wages of teachers, and is accumulating somewhat in the ratio 
of the increase of the population. 

The inconveniences and embarrassments attendant upon the 
education of our children and youth are rapidly disappearing. 
Much has been gained within a few years, though much re- 
mains to be accomplished. We now have Colleges, Acade- 
mies, and Female Seminaries in operation, that furnish the 


means of education equal to the older states, and a broad and 
deep foundation has been laid for generations to come. 

Many good primary schools now exist, and where three or 
four of the leading families unite and exert their influence in 
favor of the measure, it is not difficult to have a good school. 

In each county a school commissioner is appointed, to su. 
perintend the sales of the sixteenth sections, loan the money, 
receive and apportion the interest received from this fund and 
from the state funds, receive schedule returns of the number of 
scholars that attend each school, and make report annually to 
the secretary of state. 

The people in any settlement can organize themselves into 
a school district, employ a teacher, and obtain their proportion 
of the income from the school funds, provided the teacher 
keeps a schedule of the number of scholars who attend, the 
number of days each one is present, and the number of days 
each scholar is absent, a copy of which must be certified by 
the trustees of the district, and returned to the school- com- 
missioners of the county semi-annually . 

If the school is made up from parts of two or more town- 
ships, a separate schedule of the scholars from each township 
must be made out. 

The term " township," in the school laws, merely expresses 
the surveys of 36 sections, and not a civil organization. 


Illinois College. — This institution is located in the vicinity 
of Jacksonville, and one mile west of the town. Its situation 
is on a delightful eminence, fronting the east, and overlooking 
the town, and a vast extent of beautiful prairie country, now 
covered with well cultivated farms. 

This institution owes its existence and prosperity, under God, 
to the pious enterprise of several young men, formerly mem. 
bers of Yale College, Connecticut. Most of its funds have 
been realized from the generous donations of the liberal and 
philanthropic abroad. 

The buildings are as follows : a brick edifice, 104 feet in 
length, 40 feet in width, five stories high, including the base- 
ment ; containing 32 apartments for the accommodation of 
officers and students. Each apartment consists of a sitting 
room, or study, 14 feet by 12, two bed-rooms, each eight feet 


square, two dress closets, and one wood closet. The basement 
story embraces a boarding hall, kitchen, store-rooms, &c, for 
the general accommodation. 

To this main building are attached two wings, each 38 feet 
Jong, and 28 feet wide, three stories high, including the base- 
ment ; for the accommodation of the families of the Faculty. 

The chapel is a separate building, 65 feet long, and 36 feet 
wide, two stories high, including rooms for public worship, lec- 
tures, recitations, library, &c, and eight rooms for students. 

There are also upon the premises a farm-house, barn, work- 
shops for students who wish to perform manual labor, and 
other out buildings. 

The farm consists of 300 acres of land, all under fence. 
The improvements and stock on the farm are valued at several 
thousand dollars. 

Students who choose, are allowed to employ a portion of 
each day in manual labor, either upon the farm or in the work, 
shop. Some individuals earned -$150 each during the year. 

The library consists of about 1,500 volumes. There is also 
a valuable chemical and philosophical apparatus. 

The year is divided into two terms, of twenty weeks each. 
The first term commences eight weeks after the third Wed- 
nesday in September. The second term commences on the 
Wednesday previous to the 5th of May : leaving eight weeks 
vacation in the fall, and four in the spring. 

There are between 40 and 50 students connected with the 
College classes. Several are beneficiary students, sustained, 
in part, by education societies, with a view to the Gospel min- 

The Faculty of Illinois College consists of a Professor of 
Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, and Political Economy, who 
is also President of the Institution ; a Professor of Mathematics 
and Natural Philosophy, and Lecturer on Chemistry ; a Pro- 
fessor of the Greek and Latin languages ; a Professor of Rhet- 
oric and Belles Lettres, and the necessary tutors. 

The course of instruction is intended to be equal to that of 
the first rate Colleges. 

Shurtleff College of Alton^ Illinois, is pleasantly situated 
at Upper Alton. It originated in the establishment of a Semi- 
nary at Rock Spring, in 1827, and which was subsequently 


At a meeting held June 4th, 1832, seven gentlemen formed 
a written compact, and agreed to advance funds for the pur- 
chase of about 360 acres of land, and put uj^an academical 
building of brick, 2 stories, with a stone basement, 40 feet 
long, and 32 feet wide. A large stone building, for a Refec- 
tory, and for Professors' and Students' rooms, has since been 
erected. In 1835, building lots were laid off within the corpo- 
rate bounds of the town, a part of which was sold, and a valu- 
able property still remains for future sale. 

The same year, funds to some extent were obtained in the 
eastern states, of which the liberal donation of ten thousand 
dollars was received from Benjamin ShurtlefT, M. D., of Bos- 
ton, which gives name to the institution. Of this fund, 5,000 
dollars is to be appropriated towards a College building, and 
5,000 dollars towards the endowment of a Professorship of 
Oratory, Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. 

The Institution contemplates a Professorship of Mathematics 
and Natural Philosophy, which is endowed with a fund of 
4,000 dollars, at 12 per cent, interest, the avails of a farm and 
buildings, the donation of the Hon. Cyrus Edwards ; a Pro- 
fessorship of ancient languages, not yet endowed ; a Professor- 
ship of Oratory, Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, with an endow- 
ment of 5,000 dollars of the ShurtlefT fund ; a Professorship of 
Ancient Languages, besides the Presidency, with the usual 
Professorship attached. The suppression of trade, and the 
financial embarrassments of the country for the last two years, 
suggested to the Trustees the prudential course of postponing 
the erection of large college buildings, and providing for fur- 
ther endowments, uatil the pressure has subsided. They will 
renew operations on the opening of spring, and provide means 
to erect a building on the usual scale, for which the ShurtlefT 
fund provides 5,000 dollars, which has been realizing 12 per 
cent, interest. 

Three gentlemen are attached to the Institution as mstructors, 
and usually have from 50 to 60 students. A library and some 
apparatus have been provided. 

M'Donough College, at Macomb, has just commenced ope- 
rations. It is identified with the interests of the " old school" 
Presbyterians, as the Illinois College at Jacksonville is with the 
u new school" Presbyterians. 

It has a President, and two Professors. College students, 


about 40. A respectable building of brick, in the vicinity of 
Macomb, has been erected. 

Canton College, in Fulton county, has been chartered as a 
College by the legislature, and is a respectable Academical In- 
stitution, and has 70 or 80 students. 

A Literary Institution, modeled somewhat after the plan of 
the Oneida Institute, in the state of New York, is in progress 
at Galesboro, Knox county, under the supervision of the Rev. 
Mr. Gale, and other gentlemen. 

dl'Kendree College, under the supervision of the Illinois 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is located at 
Lebanon, St. Clair county. It has a commodious framed build- 
ing, and the last catalogue shows 35 students in the Collegiate, 
and 81 in the Preparatory Department. 

The Professorships of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, 
(including the Presidency,) of Ancient Languages and Lite- 
rature, of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and of Politi- 
cal Economy and Constitutional Law, are supplied with able 
instructors. Besides these, there is the Principal of the Pre- 
paratory Department, and two tutors in the Institution. 

The Library contains 1,200 volumes. 

The charter has been recently revised by the legislature, and 
the usual powers of a University granted. The College has an 
endowment of 50,000 dollars, the interest of which is applied 
towards the support of five Professorships. The Trustees are 
preparing to erect a large College building the coming season. 

Many other College charters have been granted by the le- 
gislature, which have not yet commenced operations. 

Jubilee College has been projected for the interests of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in Illinois, by the indefatigable 
Bishop of this diocese, Philander Chase, D. D., through whose 
efforts, mainly, Gambier College, in Ohio, was established. 

After various promises of landed donations, and repeated 
disappointments in its location, this worthy Divine has succeed- 
ed in obtaining lands in Peoria county, in township 10 N. G E. 
The College site is on section 26, an elevated and beautiful 
situation, overlooking the surrounding country. The opera- 
tions of erecting buildings, have commenced, and no doubt 
here will soon arise a respectable Collegiate Institution. 

Numerous Academies have been established, some of which 
are equal, in the advantages of education, to those in older 


134 traveler's directory 

The Hillsborough Academy was opened in November, 
1837, and has from 70 to 100 students. It has a male and a. 
female department, with a principal and an associate teacher 
in each department, and an instructor of music to both. 

A spacious, tasteful, and commodious building, with two 
large, and several smaller rooms, for recitations, was erected 
by the liberality of John u Tillson, Jr., Esq., one of the earliest 
settlers in Hillsborough. 

Respectable academies, and select boarding schools, may be 
found in Equality, Jonesboro', the Flat Prairie in Randolph co., 
Belleville, Lebanon, Greeneville, Vandalia, Edwardsville, Car- 
linville, Waverley, Jacksonville, Springfield, Tremont, Peoria, 
Granville in Putnam county, Bloomington, Ottawa, Plainfield, 
Chicago, Geneva, Elgin, Belvidere, Princeton, Galena, Knox- 
ville, Warsaw, and Augusta in Hancock county, Quincy, Pay- 
son, Rushville, Griggsville, and doubtless in many other places 
not named. 

The Roman Catholics have a convent of nuns of the order 
of " Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary" at Kaskaskia, 
who conduct a female seminary, and have 60 or 70 students. 

The " ISJpnticello Female Seminary," in the vicinity of Al- 
ton, is equal, if not superior, to any female institution in the 
Valley of the Western States. 

An edifice of stone, four stories high, 100 feet long, and 44 
feet wide, with rooms for recitation, family use, kitchen and 
boarding departments, and 40 private rooms for the occupancy 
of two young ladies, furnished with a double bedstead, mat- 
tress, table, and chairs. These accommodations, with the tract 
on which the buildings are erected, were furnished by Benja- 
min Godfrev, Esq., a merchant of Alton, at a cost of from 
$25,000 to $30,000. 

The business of instruction is divided into four departments, 
over each of which presides a lady, well qualified for the pur- 
pose. The whole is under the supervision of the Rev. Theron 
Baldwin, who is chaplain to the Seminary, and lecturer on the 
various branches of science and literature. The year em- 
braces two terms — the summer term of 18, followed by a 
vacation of 8 weeks, and the winter term of 22, followed by 
a vacation of 4 weeks. The tuition expenses for the year are 
20 dollars. Boarding, proportionate to the cost of provisions 
and other necessaries, generally about $1 50 per week. The 


whole plan is designed for a thorough and useful education to 
the female sex. As the benevolent founder consecrates the 
building and furniture to the cause of female education, no 
individual will reap any pecuniary advantages from the avails 
of the Institution. 

Several Lyceums and Literary Associations exist in the state, 
and there is in every county a decided expression of populat 
opinion in favor of education. 


The Methodist Episcopal Church is the most numerous. 
The Illinois Conference, which embraces this state, Wisconsin 
and Iowa territories, in 1838 had eleven "districts," under the 
supervision of as many presiding Elders, besides their Indian 
•missions. They have 148 preachers in the traveling connec- 
tion, and 429 local preachers. Number of members in the 
society, 23,375 ; of which about 20,000 are in the state of 

The Baptist denomination has a state convention, organized 
for missionary and education purposes, 12 associations that co- 
operate in such objects, including 126 churches, 124 ministers, 
and 4,439 communicants. 

In their churches, during 1838, the number reported as bap- 
tized, and added upon a profession of faith, was 881. 

Of that class who do not co-operate in missionary societies, 
there are 13 associations. The number are estimated, upon 
imperfect data, to be about 160 churches, 80 ministers, and 
4,300 communicants — making in all, of mission and anti-mis- 
sion Baptists in Illinois, 25 associations, 286 churches, 204 
preachers, and 8,739 communicants. 

The Presbyterians are divided in Illinois, as in other states, 
into " Old School," and " New School ;" and I regret not 
having possession of documents, to exhibit full and accurate 
statistics of each party. In 1836, when united, they had 1 
synod, 8 Presbyteries, about 80 churches, 60 ministers, and 
2,500 communicants. Their increase may be estimated at 20 
per cent., and the proportion of " New" to " Old School," as 
two to one. Each party has now a separate organization. 

The Methodist Protestant Denomination has one confer- 
ence, 13 circuit, and 28 unstationed preachers, and 670 mem. 
Ders in the classes, 

136 traveler's directory 

The Reformers, as they term themselves, or " Campbell- 
ites," as others call them, have several large, and a number of 
small societies, a number of preachers, and several hundred 
members, including the Christian body with which they are 
in union. They immerse all who profess to believe in Christ, 
for the remission of sins, but differ widely from orthodox bap- 
tists on some points of doctrine. 

The Cumberland Presbyterians have two synods. The 
one, in the middle and northern part of the state, includes 3 
Presbyteries, 36 churches, 16 ordained ministers, 10 licentiates, 
4 candidates, and 1,060 communicants. I estimate the other 
eynod at about the same ratio ; making 6 Presbyteries, 70 
churches, 50 preachers, and 2,000 communicants. 

The 'Congregationalists have two, and perhaps three, Asso- 
ciations in the state ; but I have no documents from them to 
show the number of churches, ministers and communicants. 
An Association in the Rock river country has 7 churches. 
Probably there are 15 or 20 in the state ; which, at the estimate 
of 40 members to each church, would make, say 750 commu- 

The Protestant Episcopal Church has an organized dio- 
cese, under the supervision of Bishop Chase. The documents 
promised by the worthy Bishop not having arrived, I must es- 
timate the congregations at 12, the clergy at 7, and the com- 
municants at 200. 

There are probably half a dozen Unitarian congregations 
in the state, and three or four ministers- 

A Univcrsalist Convention has been organized in the north- 
ern part of the state, which appears to indicate there are seve. 
ral congregations and preachers of that sect. 

There are two churches of Reformed Presbyterians, or 
Covenanters, 1 minister, and about 280 communicants, with 
a few families scattered in other parts of the state. There are 
also two or three societies of Associate Reformed Presbyte 
rians, or Seceders. 

In McLean county is a society of United Brethren, or, aa 
some call them, Dutch Methodists. 

The Dunkards have five or six societies, and some preach 
ers in this state. 

There are several Lutheran congregations with preachers. 


There are small societies of Friends or Quakers in Taze- 
well and Crawford counties ; and a few Mormons, scattered 
through the state. They are becoming numerous in Adams 
and Hancock counties. 

The Rotnan Catholics are not numerous. They have 
a dozen congregations, eight or ten priests, and a popula- 
tion of between five and six thousand, including old and 
young. The Roman Catholics are mostly about the old 
French villages, and the laborers along the line of canal and 
rail roads. 

There is considerable expression of good feeling amongst 
the different religious denominations, and the members fre- 
quently hear the preachers of each other, as there are but few 
congregations that are supplied every Sabbath. The qualifi- 
cations of the clergymen are various. A number of them are 
men of talents, learning, influence, and unblemished piety. 
Others have had but few advantages in acquiring either literary 
or theological information, and yet are good speakers and 
useful men. 

There are as many professors of religion of some descrip- 
tion, in proportion to the population, in Illinois, as in most of the 
other States. The number will not vary far from 40,000, and 
estimating the population at 420,000, would make the propor- 
tion of professors of religion as one to ten and a fraction. 

The number of pre-achers of all denominations, will range 
between 980 and 1000. It will be understood that a very 
large majority, say about two-thirds, follow some secular 
calling, but devote a portion of the Sabbaths, and occasionally 
secular days to preaching the gospel. The amount of volun- 
tary and gratuitous labors, thus bestowed by preachers of the 
gospel, in the Western States, is incalculable. A vast amount 
of good has been done by a class of self-taught preachers, 
possessing vigorous minds, and a reasonable share of common 
sense, with exemplary piety. 

It is true that some are very illiterate, and make utter con- 
fusion of the word of God. Such persons are usually proud, 
conceited, fanatical, and influenced by a spirit far removed 
from the meek, docile, benevolent, and charitable spirit of the 


138 traveler's directory 


In all the new states and territories, the lands which are 
owned by the general government, are surveyed and sold under 
one general system. In the surveys, " meridian" lines are 
first established, running north from the mouth of some noted 
river. These are intersected with " base" lines. 

There are five principal meridians in the land surveys in the 

The " First Principal Meridian" is a line due north from 
the mouth of the Miami. 

The " Second Principal Meridian" is a line due north from 
the mouth of Little Blue river, in Indiana. 

The " Third Principal Meridian" is a line due north from 
the mouth of the Ohio. 

The " Fourth Principal Meridian" is a line due north 
from the mouth of the Illinois. 

The "Fifth Principal Meridian" is a line due north from 
the mouth of the Arkansas. Each of these meridians has its 
own base line. 

The surveys connected with the third and fourth meridians, 
and a small portion of the second, embrace the State of Illi- 

The base line for both the second and third principal meri- 
dians commences at Diamond Island, in the Ohio, opposite 
Indiana, and runs due west till it strikes the Mississippi, a few 
miles below St. Louis. 

All the townships in Illinois, south and east of the Illinois 
river, are numbered from this base line either north or south. 

The third principal meridian terminates with the northern 
boundary of the State. 

The fourth principal meridian commences on the right bank, 
and at the mouth of the Illinois river, but immediately crosses 
to the east shore, and passes up on that side, (and at one 
place nearly fourteeen miles distant,) to a point in the channel 
of the river, seventy-two miles from its mouth. Here its base 
fine commences and extends across the peninsula to the 
Mississippi, a short distance above Quincy. The fourth prin- 
cipal meridian is continued northward through the military 
tract, and across Rock river, to a curve in the Mississippi at 
the upper rapids, in township eighteen north, and about twelve 


or fifteen miles above Rock Island. It here crosses and 
passes up the west side of the Mississippi river fifty-three miles, 
and recrosses into Illinois, and passes through the town of 
Galena to the northern boundary of the State. It is thence 
continued to the Wisconsin river and made the principal 
meridian for the surveys of the territory, while the northern 
boundary line of the State is constituted its base line for that 

Having formed a principal meridian with its corresponding 
base line, for a district of country, the next operation of the 
surveyor is to divide this into tracts of six miles square, called 
" townships" 

In numbering the townships east or west from a principal 
meridian, they are called " ranges" meaning a range of 
townships ; but in numbering north or south from a base line, 
they are called " townships." Thus a tract of land is said to 
be situated in township four north, in range three east, from 
the third principal meridian : or as the case may be. 

Townships are subdivided into square miles, or tracts of 
640 acres each, called " sections." If near timber, trees are 
marked and numbered with the section, township, and range, 
near each sectional corner. If in a large prairie, a mound is 
raised to designate the corner, and a billet of charred wood 
buried, if no rock is near. Sections are divided into halves by 
a line north and south, and into quarters by a transverse line. 
In sales, under certain conditions, quarters are sold in equal 
subdivisions of forty acres each, at one dollar and twenty-five 
cents per acre. Any person, whether a native born citizen, 
or a foreigner, may purchase forty acres of the richest soil, 
and receive an indisputable title, for fifty dollars. 

Ranges are townships counted either east or west from 

Townships are counted either north or south from their re- 
spective base lines. 

Fractions are parts of quarter sections intersected by streams 
or confirmed claims. 

The parts of townships, sections, quarters, &c. made at 
the fines of either townships or meridians are called excesses 
or deficiencies. 

Sections, or miles square, are numbered, beginning in the 
northeast corner of the township, progressively west to the rango 



line, and then progressively east to the range line, alternately, 
terminating at the southeast corner of the township, from 
one to thirty-six, as in the following diagram : — 





































I have been thus particular in this account of the surveys o* 
public lands, to exhibit the simplicity of a system, that to 
strangers, unacquainted with the method of numbering the 
sections, and the various subdivisions, appears perplexing and 

A large tract of country in the north, and northeastern 
portion of this state is yet unsurveyed. This does not prevent 
the hardy pioneers of the west from taking possession, where 
the Indian title is extinct, as it is now to all lands within this 
State. They risk the chance of purchasing it when brought 
into market. 

Land Offices and Districts. — There are ten land offices in 
Illinois, in as many districts, open for the sale or entry of 
public lands. 

The Land District of Shawneetown embraces that portion 
of the State, bounded north by the base line, east and south 

* Appropriated for schools in the township. 


by the boundaries of the State, and west by the third prin. 
cipal meridian. 

Office for the entry and sale of lands at Shawneetown. 

The Land District of Kaskaskia is bounded north by the 
base line, and comprehends all that part of the State that 
lies between the third principal meridian and the Mississippi. 

Land office at Kaskaskia. 

The Land District of Edwardsville extends south to the 
base line, east to the range line, between ranges second and 
third west of the third principal meridian, north to the line that 
separates the thirteenth and fourteenth townships north, and 
west to the Mississippi. 

Land office at Edwardsville. 

The Land District of Vandalia extends south to the base 
line, east to the line between ranges eight and nine, east of 
the third principal meridian, north to the south line of Spring, 
field district, and west to the range line between ranges second 
and third west of the third principal meridian. 

Land office at Vandalia. 

The Land District of Palestine extends south to the 
northern boundary of the Shawneetown district, west to the 
eastern boundary of Vandalia district, north to the dividing 
line between townships sixteen and seventeen north ; and 
east to the boundary of Indiana. 

The Land district of Springfield extends south to Ed- 
wardsville district, east to the Palestine and Danville dis. 
tricts, and north and west to the Illinois river. 

The Land District of Quincy embraces all the tract of 
country between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers to the 
line between townships twelve and thirteen north and west 
of the third principal meridian. 

The L,and District of Danville includes that part of the 
State to its northern boundary, which lies north of Palestine, 
to the line between T. 30 and 31 N. of the 3d meridian and 
east of Springfield district. 

Northwest District is in the northwestern portion of the 


State, and bounded south by the line between townships 
twelve and thirteen north, on the military tract, and east by 
the line between ranges three and four east of the third 
principal meridian, and north by the northern boundary of the 

Land office at Galena. 

Northeast District is in the northeast portion of the State, 
and bounded south by the line between townships thirty and 
thirty-one, on the third principal meridian, east by lake 
Michigan, and north by the boundary of the State. 

Land office at Chicago. 

The officers in each land district are a register and receiver, 
appointed by the President and Senate, and paid by the 
general government. 

The land, by proclamation of the President, is first offered 
for sale at auction, by half quarter sections. If no one bids 
for it at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, or upwards, 
it is subject to private entry at any time after, upon payment 
at the time of entry. No credit is allowed. 

In special cases Congress has granted pre-emption rights, 
where settlements and improvements have been made on 
public lands previous to ^e public sale. 

Pre-emption Rights confer the privilege only of purchasing 
the tract containing improvements at one dollar and twenty, 
five cents per acre, by the possessor, without the risk, of a 
public sale. 

All lands in this state, purchased of the general government, 
are exempted from taxation for five years after purchase. 

All lands owned by citizens, non-residents, and corporate 
bodies, and not exempted as above, are subject to annual 
taxation, according to valuation. If the tax is not paid in 
due season, so much of the land is sold to the highest bidder 
as will pay the tax and cost. 

The revenue law heretofore allowed two years after the sale 
for the owner to redeem, after which the title is vested in the 
purchaser by a deed from the Auditor of the State, except in 
the case of minor-heirs, or persons absent beyond sea. No 
distinction can be made between residents and non-residents 
in taxing lands. Each county has authority to levy a tax on 
non-resident's lands for repairing roads, 


Lands belonging to minor heirs may be redeemed at any 
time before the expiration of one year from the time the 
youngest of said heirs shall become of lawful age. 

Military Bounty Lands. — The lands which constitute the 
Illinois military tract, given as a bounty to the soldiers in the 
last war with Great Britain, are included within the peninsula 
of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, and extend on the fourth 
principal meridian, from the mouth of the Illinois, one hundred 
and sLxty miles north. This tract embraces the counties of 
Calhoun, Pike, Adams, Schuyler, McDonough, Warren, 
Mercer, Knox, Henry, Fulton, Peoria, and a portion of 

For a particular description, reference may be had to each 
of these counties. 

In general terms however, this tract contains as much good 
land, both timber and prairie, as any portion of the State of 
equal extent. About three-fifths of the quarter sections have 
been appropriated as military bounties. The remainder is to 
be disposed of in the same manner as other public lands. 
South of the base line, which passes across the tract through 
Schuyler and Adams counties, the public lands have been 
offered for sale. North of that line there is much excellent 
land yet for sale. 

The disposition of so much of this fine country for military 
purposes has very much retarded its settlement. Most of the 
titles have long since departed from the soldiers for whose 
benefit the donations were made. Many thousand quarter 
sections have been sold by the State for taxes, and are past 
redemption. Much of it is in the hands of non-residents, who 
hold it at prices too exorbitant to command sale. Some have 
doubted the legality of these sales at auction for taxes, but 
able lawyers, and those who have investigated the business, 
have expressed the opinion, that " tax titles," are valid. 
Within the last two years the military tract has received a 
great accession to its population. A large quantity of these 
military lands are now owned by a company, who have a 
land office, opened at Quincy, and offer tracts from three to 
ten dollars per acre. 

The following particulars may be of use to non-resident 
landholders : — 

1. If persons have held lands in the military tract, or in 


the State, and have not attended to paying taxes for more than 
two years, the land is sold and past redemption, unless there 
are minor heirs. 

2. Every non-resident landholder should employ an agent 
within the State to pay his taxes, and take the oversight of his 

3. All deeds, conveyances, mortgages, or title papers what, 
soever, must be recorded in the '•'■recorder's office" in the 
county where the land is situated. Deeds and title papers are 
not in force until filed in the recorder's office. 

4. The words " grant, bargain and sell," whatever may 
be the specific form of the instrument in other respects, con- 
vey a full and bona fide title, to warrant and defend, unless 
express provision is made to the contrary in the instrument. 

[See revised laws of Illinois, of 1833, article "recorder," 
page 510.] 


The constitution of Illinois was formed by a convention 
held at Kaskaskia, in August, 1818. It provides for the dis- 
tribution of the powers of government into three distinct 
departments. The legislative, executive, and judiciary. The 
legislative authority is vested in a general assembly, consisting 
of a senate and house of representatives. Elections are held 
biennially, as are the ordinary sessions of the legislature. 
Senators are elected for four years. 

The executive power is vested in the governor, who is 
chosen every fourth year by the electors for representatives, 
but the same person is ineligible for the next succeeding four 
years. The lieutenant governor is also chosen every four 

The Judicial power is vested in a supreme court, and such 
inferior courts as the general assembly from time to time shall 
establish. The supreme court consists of a chief justice and 
three associate judges. 

The governor and judges of the supreme court constitute a 
council of revision, to which all bills that have passed the 
assembly must be submitted. If objected to by the council of 
revision, the same may become a law by the vote of a major. 
ity of all the members elected to both houses. 



In this brief sketch I shall commence with the south 
end of the state and proceed geographically northward, 
passing across the state, as they are exhibited on the map. 

Alexander County lies at the junction of the Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers, and is washed by those streams on 
three sides. The Mississippi in its meanderings laves 
its western side for about 60 miles. Cash river meanders 
through the county and enters the Ohio river six miles 
above its junction with the Mississippi. Here is the small 
town and landing called Trinity. The soil of Alexander 
county is fertile, and is covered mostly with a heavy 
growth of timber of various species of oaks, cypress, pop- 
lar, walnut, hickory, some cherry, elm, &c. There is a 
tract of yellow pine in the northwestern part. 

The " Grand Chain," a mass of lime and sand rock, 
which forms the bed of the Ohio river, about 18 mile9 
above its mouth, is supposed to extend across this county 
to the Mississippi river. Inexhaustible clifts and quar- 
ries of superior building stone are at the bluffs, on the 
central rail road, 22 miles from Cairo. On Cash river and 
near the mouth of the Ohio, the land is inundated at high 
floods. An extensive tract of rich alluvion entirely above 
the highest waters lies along the Mississippi. About two 
thirds of the county is alluvion. The seat of justice t is 
Unity. The "City of Cairo" has been described in ano- 
ther place. Caledonia is a small village and landing 13 
miles above Cairo on the Ohio, on elevated ground and a 
good landing. 

John-son county lies east of Alexander and borders on 
the Ohio river. The interior is watered by Cash river, 
Big Bay creek, and the Pond Slough. The last is a line 
of ponds interspersed with ridges and islands of rich land, 
extending from Bay creek to Cash river. On the south 
side is rich land and a string of settlements, but unhealthy. 
Along the Ohio river is a tract of dry barrens. 

146 traveler's directory 

Johnson county contains some good land, tolerably 
level, well timbered, and sandy soil. The timber is cy- 
press, maple, oaks of various species, hickory, sweet gum, 
with some poplar, ash, elm, walnut, cedar, and other 

Vienna is the seat of justice. It is a small town plea 
santly situated- 

Union county lies between Johnson county and the 
Mississippi, and is watered by Clear creek, some of the 
southern branches of Muddy, and the heads of Cash river. 

Most of this county is high rolling timber land. The 
timber is similar to the adjacent counties. A portion of 
the population are American Germans. The exports are 
corn, beef, pork, poultry, horses, etc., most of which de- 
scend the Mississippi in flat boats. Jonesboro' , the county 
seat, is a pleasantly situated village, one and half miles 
west of the central rail road, on high ground and in a 
healthy region. It has between 30 and 40 families, 
several stores, a court house, jail, and various buildings. 

Pope county lies east of Johnson, south of Gallatin, and 
has the Ohio river meandering its eastern and southern 
borders, and which, as the map shows, projects in a large 
bend into the interior. 

Big Bay Lusk and some smaller creeks are its water 
courses. The land is generally well timbered, with the 
varieties that abound in this part of the state, the surface 
is tolerably level, except at the bluffs along the Ohio, and 
the soil is good and rather sandy. Near the road from 
Golconda to Equality, and about the line of Pope and Gal- 
latin counties, is a romantic hilly region with rocky pre- 
cipices, and some of the features of a mountainous region 

Its articles of exportation are corn, beef, pork, oats, po- 
tatoes, horses, poultry, etc., which are sent down the river. 

Golconda, the seat of justice, is situated on the bottom 
land of the Ohio, and is a pleasant looking town. At the 
late session of the legislature provision was made to form 
a new county to be called Hahdin, out of that portion of 
Pope which lies north of the line between townships 
twelve and thirteen south, in case a majority of the legal 
voters of Pope county should so decide at an election to 
be held in August, 1839. 


Gallatin county lies north of Pope, and joins the Ohio 
and Wabash rivers. The interior, as the map shows, i9 
watered by the Saline creek and its tributaries. Sand 
predominates in the soil in this part of the state. The 
basis rock generally is sandstone, iying «pon a sub-stra- 
tum of clay slate. This county is mostly covered with 
timber, of which are the various species of oaks, poplar, 
walnut, mulberry, hickory, ash, elm, beech, cypress, etc. 
The salines in the vicinity of Equality, were formerly 
worked extensively, and were a source of wealth, but of 
late years, they cannot compete with the foreign salt, and 
are suspended. 

The exports are horses, flour, corn, meal, beef, pork, 
cattle, lumber, some tobacco, etc. This is a good grazing" 
and farming- county. Equality, the seat of justice, has a 
number of stores, taverns, mechanics' shops, a large court 
house, and is a thriving village. Shaicneetown, situated 
on the Ohio, is rather low for the extreme high floods, but 
is a place of considerable commerce and business, has the 
land office for this district, and must continue to grow, 
especially when the rail road from Alton to this point i3 

Franklin county lies west of Gallatin and north of John- 
son, and is watered by the Big Muddy river, and its 
branches, and the south fork of Saline creek. The prai- 
ries in this county are small and fertile, but rather too 
flat; the timber is good and in abundance, and the soil 
rather sandy. Its productions are similar to those of the 
adjacent counties, and it is capable of becoming a rich 
agricultural county. Frankfort, the seat of justice, is a 
small village, handsomely situated on elevated ground. 
Bainbridge and Fredonia are new towns with but few 

Provision was made by the legislature of last winter 
for a new county to be formed, (contingent upon the vote 
of the people) of that part of Franklin which lies south of 
the line dividing townships 7 and 8 south, to be called 
Williamson. The organization will be decided at an 
election in August, 1839. 

Jackson county lies west of Franklin and joins the 
Mississippi, and is watered by the Muddy river and its 

148 traveler's directory 

tributaries. There are valuable coal mines and salines in 
this county. 

The timber consists of the various kinds enumerated 
in the adjacent counties. 

In the northeastern part are some fine, rich prairies. 
Along- the Mississippi bottom is much wet and some inun- 
dated land. 

The project of erecting- a bridge across the Mississippi 
river at Grand Tower is entertained, and a company has 
been chartered for the purpose. Brownsville, the county 
seat, is a small village. 

The exports of Jackson county are coal, pork beef, cat- 
tle, horses, and formerly salt. 

Randolph county is northwest of Jackson, and is the 
oldest county (except St. Clair) in the state, having been 
organized under the Northwestern Territory. The Kas- 
kaskia river, St. Mary's, Horse creek, and^some smaller 
streams, are its water courses. The soil is various, from 
first rate to inferior, and the surface is diversified from 
the low rich alluvion to the undulating prairie, and the 
rugged bluffs and precipices. It contains in due propor- 
tion both timber and prairie. 

Its exports are similar to those of the adjacent counties. 
Kaskaskia is the seat of justice. This is one of the oldest 
French villages in the valley of the Mississippi, and for- 
merly contained a much larger population than at present, 
and was the center of the Indian trade of the west. It is 
situated on the right bank of the Kaskaskia river, seven 
miles above its junction of the Mississippi. The court 
house is of brick. A Roman Catholic chapel, a nunnery, 
and a female boarding school are here, as is the land 
office for the district, and the Bank of Cairo. 

Chester is a thriving commercial town on the Mississippi, 
two miles below the mouth of the Kaskaskia river, and has 
between three and four hundred inhabitants. Georgetown 
and two or three other small villages are in the interior. 

Perry county is situated east of Randolph, and is wa- 
tered by the Big Beaucoup and its tributaries, and the 
Little Muddy which touches its eastern borders. About 
one third of the county is prairie, tolerably level, good 
soil, and well adapted to grain or grazing. Its exports 


are corn, beef, cattle, horses, porn, tobacco, etc. Pinck- 
neyville, the seat of justice, is a pleasant town, and is sur 
rounded with a large settlement of industrious farmers. 

Jefferson count? is watered by several branches of the 
Big- Muddy river, and a branch of the Little Wabash. It 
is proportionably divided into timber land and tracts of 
prairie, the surface moderately undulating", and soil se- 
cond rate. The timber includes various species of oak, 
hickory, walnut, elm, sugar tree, etc. The productions 
are similar to the adjacent counties. Some of the wells in 
this region produce sulphur and brackish water. The 
seat of justice is Mount Vernon, which is pleasantly situ- 
ated on the north side of Casey's prairie, and has about 
200 inhabitants. 

Hamilton county lies southeast from Jefferson, and is 
watered by branches of the Saline and Little Wabash 
rivers. The soil is generally second and third rate, with 
some swampy land in the northern part of the county. 
The timber is similar to that of the adjacent counties, as 
are its productions. 

McLeansborough, the county seat, is a small town, con- 
veniently situated. 

White county is bounded on the east by the Wabash 
river, along which is a low bottom, subject to inundation ; 
the interior is watered by the Little Wabash and its tribu- 
taries. The banks of these streams are heavily timbered, 
among which are oaks of several species, hickory, walnut, 
hackberry, elm, ash, and poplar. Between the streams 
are fine prairies, most of which are cultivated ; the princi- 
pal of which are the Big, Burnt, and Seven Mile. 

The exports of White county are pork, beef, and beef 
cattle, corn, flour, venison hams, horses, and some tobacco. 
Horses and cattle are sent in droves to the south, and 
produce descends the river to New Orleans from this and 
the adjacent counties in large quantities. 

Carmi, the seat of justice, is a pleasant town situated 
on the right bank of the Little Wabash, and is surrounded 
by lands of a good quality, and extensive settlements. 

It has 60 or 70 families, and is increasing in population 
and business. New Haven is situated on the line between 

150 traveler's directory 

White and Gallatin counties, and two miles up the Littlo 
Wabash. It has valuable water power. 

Wabash county adjoins Wabash river, i3 a small county, 
and contains much good land and fine settlements. Be- 
sides Wabash river on the eastern, and Bon Pas creek on 
the western side, and Jordan, Crawfish and Coffee creeks 
water the interior. The county is proportionably divided 
into timber and prairie. 

Mount Carmel, the seat of justice, is situated on high 
ground, on the Wabash river, and is an important commer- 
cial and manufacturing position. 

Edwards county lies between Wabash and Wayne, and 
is watered by the Little Wabash river and Bori Pas creek. 
It is proportionably divided into Umber and prairie. The 
prairies are small, undulating, high, and bounded by 
heavy timber, and all contain flourishing settlements. 
Albion is the county seat, and its situation is high and 

Wayne county lies west of Edwards. Its water courses 
are the Little Wabash, Elm, and Skillet Fork. The 
county is proportionably interspersed with prairie and 
woodland, and the soil generally of a second quality. 
The productions of this county and those adjacent are 
similar to those noticed in the southern part of the state, 
and the surplus finds its way to market in flat boats down 
the Little Wabash to New Orleans. Fairfield, the seat of 
justice, is a pleasant inland village, situated on the bor- 
ders of Hargraves prairie. 

Marion county lies on the east side of the Grand prairie, 
equidistant from St. Louis to Vincennes, and its water 
courses are Crooked creek, and the east fork of the Kas- 
kaskia river on the Western, and Skillet Fork on its east- 
ern side. About one third of this county is covered with 
excellent timber, and the rest is prairie, generally of a 
second quality. 

Salem, the county seat, is a pleasant village near the 
eastern border of the Grand prairie, containing about 50 

Clinton county lies on the Kaskaskia river, between 
Marion and St. Clair. Besides Kaskaskia river, it haa 
Crooked, Shoal, and Sugar creeks for its water courses. 


It is suitably proportioned into forest and prairie, and the 
soil usually of second rate. Carlyle is its county seat. 

Washington county lies south of Clinton, and has the 
Kaskaskia river and its tributaries for its water courses. 
A large body of good timber lies on these streams, and 
considerable prairie land between the water courses. 
The soil generally is regarded as second rate. The seat 
of justice is Nashville. 

Monhoe county, though of more recent organization, 
contains some of the oldest American settlements in the 
state. Lying on the Mississippi, it is of irregular shape. 
The American Bottom runs through the county adjacent 
to the Mississippi. This tract is divided into timber and 
prairie in suitable proportions. On the bluffs the surface 
is hilly and much broken by sink holes. Around New 
Design and Waterloo, and on the eastern borders of the 
county, is much good land with a due mixture of timber 
and prairie. 

St. Clair county is the oldest in the state, and was 
formed by the legislative authority of the Northwestern 
Territory, in 1794, and then included all the settlements 
on the eastern side of the Mississippi. It lies opposite 
St. Louis, and joins the Mississippi. Its interior water 
courses are the Kaskaskia river, and Cahokia, Prairie du 
Pont, Ogles, Silver, Prairie de Long, and Richland creeks. 
The soil is various, much of which is good first and second 
rate, and it contains a due proportion of timber and prai- 
rie. Its timber includes the various kinds in this part of 
the state. Its productions and exports are beef, pork, 
flour, corn, coal, and all the varieties of the St. Louis 

Belleville, the county seat, is a large and flourishing town, 
and the centre of much business. Lebanon is a pleasant 
village, and the site of McKendree College. Fayetteville 
is a. new town on the north side of the Kaskaskia river, a 
short distance above Silver creek. Athens is a place of 
some importance on the Kaskaskia, below Silver creek. 
Illinois town is a village opposite St. Louis. Cahokia is 
an old French village of about 40 families. The people 
of St. Clair county are a mixture of Americans, French, 
and Germans, about 12,000 in number. 

152 traveler's directory 

Clay county is watered by the Little Wabash and its 
branches. About two thirds of the county is prairie, of an in. 
ferior quality. The bottom lands of the streams are overflowed 
at high water. There is much Congress land in this county, 
and some of a valuable quality. 

Maysville, the county seat, is handsomely situated on the 
border of the Twelve Mile Prairie, and two miles from the 
Little Wabash. A substantial road, elevated above the high- 
est floods, is now constructing across the swamp, between Lit- 
tle Wabash and Muddy. 

Lawrence county contains much good land, and some that 
is indifferent. The Embarras is its principal water course. 
Bon Pas and Fox creeks drain its southern and western 

The western and middle parts of the county contain much 
good land, with a due mixture of timber and prairie. Between 
the Embarras and Wabash, are rich bottom lands, sand ridges, 
and swamps. Alison's Prairie is a rich tract, covered over 
with finely cultivated farms. 

Lawrenccville, the seat of justice, contains a large brick 
court-house, several stores, and 70 or 80 families. It is situ- 
ated on elevated ground. 

Crawford county has the Wabash river for its eastern 
boundary, the waters of the Embarras on its western side, 
while Lamotte, Hutson, Raccoon, and Sugar creeks, drain the 
interior. The prairies generally are level, rather sandy, and 
the timber abundant. Lamotte prairie is a level, rich tract of 
iand, admirably adapted to the growth of corn. The exports 
are similar to those of other counties along the Wabash, con- 
sisting chiefly of corn, beef, pork, cattle, &c. 

Palestine, the seat of justice, is situated on Lamotte prairie, 
three miles from the Wabash river, and has the usual varieties 
for a town, with the land office for the district, and about 500 

Jasper county has the Embarras river running through it, 
and the waters of the Little Wabash and Muddy Fork on its 
western border. Much of the land of this county, both tim- 
bered and prairie, is of inferior quality, being level and wet, 
and a very large proportion yet owned by government. Doubt- 
less, in some states, it would be considered of excellent quality. 
The settlements are small, of less than 100 families. 
Newton is the county seat, a small town on the Embarras. 


Effixgha3I county is watered by the Little Wabash and its 
tributaries, and contains much good, second rate land, of which 
the surface is tolerably level. The bottom lands on the Little. 
Muddy and Salt Creeks are rich, and heavily timbered, but 
are overflowed in extreme high waters, for a day or two. 

The prairies, as seen on the map, are extensive, but the 
timber along the streams is well distributed over the county. 

Ewington, on the national road, and on the west side of the 
Little Wabash, is the seat of justice. Like many other new 
towns in this state, it is small, but the site is good. The oppo- 
site bottom of the Little Wabash overflows at high water. 

Fayette county lies west. Besides the Kaskaskia river, 
which passes through Fayette, it is watered by Hurricane fork, 
Higgin's, Ramsey's and Beck's creeks on the west, and by Big 
and Hickory creeks on the east. There is a heavy growth of 
timber in several parts of this county, especially along the Kas- 
kaskia, and the Hurricane fork. Besides some prairies of con- 
venient size, intersected with points of timber, about 12 miles 
in width, the eastern side of Fayette is in the grand prairie. 

The bottom lands of the Kaskaskia are low, subject to in- 
undation, and contain many small lakes and ponds. The 
country around Vandalia is undulating and well timbered, and 
the soil is second rate. 

The principal settlements in Fayette are Hurricane, Semi- 
nary township, Buckmaster's, Hall's, Brown's, Wakefield's, 
Haley's, and Big creek. 

It contains about equal proportions of timber and prairie, 
and has some choice lands. 

Vandalia, the seat of justice for Fayette, is handsomely 
situated on the right bank of the Kaskaskia river. The 
site is high, undulating, and was originally a timbered tract. 
It was selected by Commissioners, with four sections of 
land, granted by the United States Congress, in 1818, for 
the seat of government for twenty years. The public offices 
were removed to Springfield on the fourth of July, 1839, 
and it is thought the place will not suffer materially from 
this loss. The National road, the Central Rail Read, the im- 
provement of the Kaskaskia river, and the business of the sur- 
rounding country, will sustain it as a place of business and im- 
portance. The town was handsomel.v laid out — the streets 
cross at right angles, and are eighty feet in width. The pub- 
lic square is on elevated ground. The public buildings are, a 

154 traveler's directory 

state-house of brick, and sufficiently commodious for legisla- 
tive purposes, unfinished, a neat framed house of worship for 
the Presbyterian society, with a cupola and bell, a framed 
meeting house for the Methodist society, another small public 
building open for all denominations, and for schools, and other 
public purposes. 

There are in the town two printing offices that issue weekly 
papers, four taverns, eight stores, two groceries, one clothing 
store, two schools, four lawyers, four physicians, one steam 
and one water saw-mill, one minister of the gospel, and about 
S50 inhabitants. 

Near the river, the country generally is heavily timbered, 
but a few miles back, are extensive prairies. The " national 
road" has been permanently located and partially constructed 
to this place. 

Bond county was originally a large one, but for many years 
has been reduced to its present size. 

Shoal creek and its branches pass through the middle, and 
Hurricane fork waters the eastern portion of this county. 

It is duly proportioned into timber and prairie. In some 
parts the latter is rather too level for convenience, but is good 
second rate land. The population generally are industrious, 
frugal, and intelligent farmers. 

Greenville, its seat of justice, is well situated on elevated 
ground, and is a pleasant village of about 250 inhabitants. 

Madison county was organized from St. Clair in 1812, and 
then embraced all the territory north to the British dominions. 
It is watered by Silver and Cahokia creeks, and Wood river, 
and their branches. 

A portion of this county lies in the American bottom, but 
much of it is high, undulating, and proportionably divided into 
timber and prairie. 

Settlements were formed in this county about thirty-five 
years since. Coal, and building stone, are abundant. Around 
Alton, and along Wood river, and Cahokia creek, is one of the 
finest bodies of timber in this part of the state. 

The prairies are very advantageously situated for settle- 
ments, and will soon be covered with well cultivated farms. 
Wheat, corn, beef, pork, horses, cattle, and almost every pro- 
duction of Illinois, are raised in this county, and find a ready 


Edwardsville, the seat of justice, has a court-house and jail 
of brick, a land office for Edwardsville district, seven stores, 
two taverns, two physicians, four lawyers, a castor oil factory, 
various mechanics, and about seventy families. Here is also 
an academy and a commodious building. The Baptists and 
Methodists each have houses of worship. The inhabitants are 
generally industrious, intelligent, moral, and a large proportion 
professors of religion. 

The location of Edwardsville is pleasant, on high ground, 
healthy, and in the centre of a fertile, well watered, and well 
timbered country, settled with enterprising farmers. It is in 
latitude thirty-eight degrees forty-five minutes north. The sur- 
rounding country is a rich, agricultural region. 

Alton, of course, demands special attention, and a brief but 
full description. It is divided into three portions : — 

1. Alton city. 

2. Middle Alton, formerly called Middletown. 

3. Upper Alton. 

Alton City is situated on the left bank of the Mississippi, two 
and a half miles above the mouth of the Missouri, and at the 
place where the curve of the Mississippi penetrates the furthest 
into Illinois, eighteen miles below the mouth of the Illinois 
river, and at the point where the commerce and business of 
die wide spread regions of the northeast, north, and northwest, 
must arrive. 

Portions of the site are very uneven, with bluffs and ravines. 
Other portions are well situated for immediate improvement, 
and will need but little grading. It has the best landing for 
steamboats on the east bank of the Mississippi, having a na- 
tural wharf of rock. 

One of the finest bodies of timber in the state surrounds it for 
several miles in extent, from which vast quantities of lumber 
may be produced. Bituminous coal exists in great abundance 
but a short distance from the town. Inexhaustible beds of 
limestone for building purposes, and easily quarried, are within 
its precincts. A species of free stone, easily dressed, and used 
for monuments and architectural purposes, and that peculiar 
species of lime, used for water cement, are found in great abun- 
dance in the vicinity. 

The corporate bounds of the city extend two miles along 
the river, and a mile back. The town plat is laid out by the 
proprietors upon a liberal scale. 

156 traveler's directory 

There are five squares reserved for public purposes ; a large 
reservation is made on the river for a public landing and prom- 
enade. Market street is 150 feet wide — other streets are one 
hundred, eighty, and sixty feet, according to the situation and 
public accommodation. 

There are three printing offices here ; the " Telegraph," 
which issues a paper semi-weekly ; the " Gazette," a commer- 
cial and political weekly paper, and the " Illinois Temperance 
Herald," which issues about 8,000 copies monthly. There is 
a large Temperance Society, which holds monthly meetings, a 
" Lyceum," and a " Literary Society," which meet weekly, and 
several public and private schools. 

The religious denominations are Baptist, Presbyterian, Meth- 
odist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, and Episcopalian, each 
of which, except the last, have commodious and substantial 
houses of worship. The Episcopalians occupy the city court- 
room, but have no stated clergyman. The other societies have 
stated ministrations, and pastors to their congregations. The 
Baptist congregation have a large stone edifice, well construct- 
ed, and neatly finished, with a basement that contains a com- 
modious vestry for church meetings and Sunday school pur- 
poses, a committee room, and store rooms for rent. A handsome 
spire, a fine toned bell and a clock, and a church organ for the 
choir, belong to the house. It is situated on Second stre#, 
near the river, from which it is seen in perspective for a great 

The house of worship for the Presbyterian church is also of 
stone, and has a basement room, a cupola and bell, and was 
erected chiefly from the munificence of B. Godfrey, Esq., an 
opulent merchant, whose name stands connected with the de- 
scription already given of Monticello Female Seminary, and 
whose retiring modesty would shrink at even this notice of 
Christian liberality. 

The Methodist Episcopal house of worship is a neat framed 
building, with a square cupola, situated on the slope of the hill, 
on Third street. 

The Methodist Protestant house is a stone building, of one 
story, planted on the high bluff, and about midway of the town. 

Among the public institutions are two Banks, (one a branch of 
the "State Bank of Illinois," the other a branch of the "Bank 
of Illinois," at Shawneetown,) an insurance office, a lodge of 
independent odd fellows, and a mechanics' association. 


Depositories of the Illinois Bible, Sunday School, Tract, and 
Temperance Societies, are kept in the city. 

The mercantile and other business of Alton, as in all other 
cities, has suffered depression for the two years past, but it is 
now fast reviving. 

Alton, at the commencement of 1837, contained 20 whole- 
sale, and 32 retail stores and groceries, 8 attorneys, 7 physi- 
cians, 7 clergymen devoted to their calling, (besides several 
preachers of the gospel, who follow secular business during 
the week,) 4 hotels, 2 of which have large accommodations, a 
large steam flouring mill, four large slaughtering and packing 
houses for putting up pork, which do a large business, and me- 
chanics' shops of various descriptions. 

The wild schemes of town making and land speculation, 
that prevailed for a time through all the country, caused a fall- 
ing off in the wholesale business, but indications of a revival 
of trade are manifest. During the past winter, (1838-39.) the 
pork operations alone at this place, in slaughtering, packing, 
and preparing for market, exceeded the value of $300,000. 

Other products, (without including lead, sent from Galena 
and Du Buque, and reshipped here,) equalled about 100,000 

The state penitentiary is located in this city. It consists of 
the warden's house, guard-house, workshops, 48 cells in a four 
story edifice, and the exterior wall, erected around the yard. 
The number of the convicts is about 30. Of these, some curious 
and interesting facts have been disclosed in the Temperance 
Herald for December, 1838, by its editor, from personal con- 
versations with the prisoners. Of the whole number, (30,) 16 
ascribe their crimes and imprisonment to the influence of in- 
toxicating liquor ; 23 were in the habit of getting drunk ; 4 
were moderate drinkers, and only 3 were not in the habit of 
drinking intoxicating liquors. 

Similar investigations would produce the same results, pro- 
bably, in every state. The conclusion is irresistible, that if it is 
the business of a state to provide penitentiaries for the punish- 
ment of criminals, it is equally the business of the legislature 
to remove the primary cause. 

An effort has been made to remove the penitentiary from the 

city to a position three or four miles distant. The bill passed 

one house of the legislature, but failed in the other, by a vote 

or two. It is supposed the sale of the lots will cover the ex- 


15S traveler's directory 

pense of removal, and erect and complete a new one on a more 
commodious plan. 

Mercantile business commenced in Alton in 1831. Its fa- 
cilities are now great. Real estate has risen here more than 
1,000 per cent, within 4 years. 

The prices of lots depend upon their location. The best 
stands for business near the river sell from 300 to 400 dollars 
per foot front. Lots more retired, for private residences, from 
100 to 50 and 25 dollars per foot. Stores rent from 1,500 to 
400, and dwelling houses from 600 to 200 dollars. Some of 
the large wholesale stores do business from 250,000 to half a 
million of dollars annually. 

Seven or eight steamboats are owned here in whole or in 
part, and arrivals and departures occur every day, and at all 
times in the day, during the season. Alton commands a large 
proportion of the trade of the Upper Mississippi and Illinois 
rivers, and of the interior country for one hundred miles. Be- 
sides the public rail roads that concentrate here, noticed under 
the head of " Internal Improvement," a survey has been made, 
and the stock taken for one from Alton to Springfield, 72 miles, 
which will open an important line of communication with the 
interior, and eventually become connected with the great line 
to the Atlantic cities. 

This line to Carlinville is now embraced in the public works, 
and the company no doubt will construct the remaining por- 
tion from that point to Springfield, should the state not take the 
work off their hands. 

Contrary to the expectations of many, Alton has enjoyed as 
much health, and its population has been as little afflicted with 
sickness as any town upon our western rivers. 

Middle Alton is handsomely situated in the rear of the city, 
and about equidistant between that place and Upper Alton, on 
high ground, pleasantly undulating, enjoying fine air, health, 
good water easily obtained, and a pleasant prospect. A por- 
tion of its population are within the limits of the city charter. 
It has many pleasant looking framed houses, mostly white, and 
some elegant brick mansions. 

Upper Alton is a delightfully situated town, spread over the 
surface of nearly a mile square. It is on elevated ground, two 
and a half miles back from the river, and east from Alton, on 
section seven, township five north, range nine west. The situa- 
tion of the town is high and healthy. The country around waff 


originally timbered land, and is undulating; the prevailing 
growth consists of oaks of various species, hickory, walnut, &c. 

There are 8 stores, 5 groceries, 2 lawyers, 5 physicians, me- 
chanics of various descriptions, a steam saw and flour-mill, 
and about 300 families, or 1,500 inhabitants. The Baptists, 
Methodists, and Presbyterians, each have houses of worship. 
The Baptist and Presbyterian houses are handsome stone edi- 
fices, with spires, bells, &c, and provided with ministers. 
There are seven or eight ministers of the gospel, residents of 
this place, some of whom are connected with the college and 
the theological seminary ; others are agents for some of the 
public benevolent institutions, whose families reside here. 

Good morals, religious privileges, the advantages for educa- 
tion in the college, and in three respectable common schools, 
with an intelligent and agreeable society, make this town a 
desirable residence. 

Upper Alton was laid off by the proprietor in 1816, and in 
1821, it contained fifty or sixty families. In 1827, it had dwin- 
dled down to a few, from several causes. But since the com- 
mencement of Alton, the flourishing mercantile town on the 
river, it has experienced a rapid growth, and will doubtless 
continue to advance, proportionate to the progress of the town 
and country around. 

These three places will, doubtless, eventually grow into one 
great city. Their aggregate population now is about 4,000. 

Collinsville, on the southern border of Madison county, is a 
pleasant, moral village. 

Marine Settlement, in the forks of Silver Creek, was com- 
menced by Captains Blakeman and Allen, in 1819. The set- 
tlement is large, and spread over an undulating, rich, and beau- 
tiful prairie, and is healthy and well watered. 

Valuable improved farms can be purchased in Madison, St. 
Clair, and the adjacent counties, at a reasonable price ; and 
they must rise in value as the country improves. The facili- 
ties to a steady and constant market are superior to most parts 
of the state. 

Greene county was formed from Madison, in 1821. The Il- 
linois and Mississippi washes its western, and a portion of its 
southern borders ; Apple and Macoupin creeks pass through it. 

The banks of the Mississippi in the southern parts of this 
county are generally composed of perpendicular cliffs, varying 
in height from 80 to 200 feet, consisting of horizontal strata of 


lime and sandstone, frequently imbedded with coal. The lat. 
ter does not show itself at the face of the cliffs, but is found in 
great abundance a short distance from it. These cliffs com- 
mence at Alton, and extend along the Mississippi and Illinois 
rivers to the northern part of the county ; sometimes, however, 
receding several miles east, leaving a low and fertile alluvian, 
which is usually timbered, on the banks of the river, and a 
prairie surface towards the bluffs. 

Greene county has much excellent land, both timber and 
prairie ; the surface approaches nearer to a level than the coun- 
ties further north, with proportionate quantities of timber and 

Carrollton is the seat of justice, and is a pleasant and flour- 
ishing town of about 1,000 inhabitants. It is situated on String 
prairie, equidistant from the Macoupin and Apple creeks. The 
court-house is a neat brick building, two stories, with a hand- 
some spire. 

Around Carrollton is a beautiful country, tolerably level, rich 
soil, suitably proportioned into timber and prairie, and densely 
populated with industrious and thriving farmers. 

Here are Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist and Reformer 
societies, with houses of worship. 

Grafton is two miles below the mouth of the Illinois river, 
situated on a strip of elevated land, at the foot of the bluffs, 
and on the bank of the Mississippi. 

Several islands in the Mississippi make this point the real 
junction of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, as to navigation. 
The country a few miles back is rich, and becoming densely 

Grafton is twentylfour miles from Carrollton, and ten miles 
from St. Charles, in Missouri, and must soon become a 
thoroughfare for traveling from the Sangamon country across 
the Mississippi to St. Charles, and the regions along the Mis 
souri river. It has a post office, several stores and warehouses, 
400 or 500 inhabitants, and promises to be a place of consider- 
able business. 

Jerseyville is beautifully situated on elevated ground in the 
prairie, between the Piasau and Macoupin creeks, 14 miles 
south of Carrollton, and has about 30 families. 

Whitehall is ten miles north of Carrollton, and five miles 
above Apple creek, and contains about 600 inhabitants. The 
Baptists and Methodists have congregations and house* ^ 


worship. It is surrounded with a dense settlement of thrifty 
farmers. [See Jersey county, page 185.] 

Macoupin county lies east ot Greene. 

The Macoupin creek and its branches water the middle and 
western parts,the Cahokia creek, the south eastern, and the heads 
of Wood river and Piasau, the southwestern parts of the county. 

A large portion of the county is excellent soil, and well pro- 
portioned into timber and prairie, and rapidly settling. About 
one-third of the county is timbered land. It is an excellent agri- 
cultural county, and will soon produce large quantities of pork, 
beef, wheat, &c, which will naturally reach the market at Alton. 

Carlinville, the county seat, is beautifully situated on the 
borders of a large prairie, contains from 80 to 100 families, and 
is improving rapidly. The rail road from Alton across the 
state by Hillsborough, has been located within nine miles of 
this place, at an expense much less than a direct line would 
have caused, and a branch road to this town has been recently 
authorized by the legislature. A Theological Seminary under 
patronage of the Synod of the "new school" portion of the 
Presbyterian church is to be established here. 

Montgomery county is watered by Shoal creek and its 
branches, some of the heads of the Macoupin, a branch of the 
South Fork of the Sangamon, and the Hurricane Fork, and is 
proportionably divided into timber and prairie. The surface 
is generally high and undulating. 

There is much valuable land and many fine settlements in 
this county. 

Hillsborough, the county seat, is situated in an elevated re- 
gion of country, and is a healthy, moral and delightful town of 
about 500 inhabitants. Its academy has been noticed as one 
of the finest in the state. 

The Presbyterians, Methodists, and Evangelical Lutherans 
have houses of worship and constant preaching — the Baptists 
and Unitarians occasionally. 

Shelby county is watered by the Kaskaskia and its tribu- 
taries, and by some of the head branches of the South Fork 
of Sangamon river. It contains a large amount of excellent 
land, both timber and prairie, and is one of the best inland 
agricultural counties in the state. 

Shelbyville, the seat of justice, is situated on high ground, 
near the center of the county, and contains several stores and 


about 300 inhabitants. The settlements around are extensive, 
and the country fertile and productive. 

Coles county was formed from Clark and Edgar in 1830. 

The Kaskaskia river passes through four townships in its 
northwestern part; the Embarras runs its whole length, with 
several branches : and the heads of the Little Wabash afford 
fine mill streams, and settlements, in its southwestern portion. 

This county contains much excellent land, equal in quality 
to the country on the Illinois river. 

The northern, and a tract through the middle portions of the 
county are prairies of considerable extent ; but the other parts 
are duly proportioned into timber and prairie. 

The timber is similar to the borders of the Kaskaskia ; and 
much of the prairie land is modarately undulating. The 
southeastern part is either wet or broken. 

The streams are not large ; they generally run over a bed 
of sand, and afford many good mill seats. 

Charleston, the seat of justice, is situated on the border of 
the Grand Prairie, two and a half miles from the Embarras 
river, and contains from 30 to 40 families. The surface 
around is tolerably level, the soil fertile, and the settlements and 
improvements extensive and increasing. Greenup is a small but 
pleasant village on the national road. The settlements and 
country around Oakland post office are rich and extensive. 

Clark county has a mixture of timber and prairie, and the 
soil is about second rate. Marshall is the seat of justice. 
The other towns are Darwin, Livingston, Martinsville, Mel- 
rose and York, all small villages. York, in the southeastern 
corner, on the Wabash, is a place of some business, and con- 
tains a steam saw and flouring mill, four or five stores, and 
about 300 inhabitants. 

Edgar County is watered by Big Clear, and Brulette's 
creeks, which are small streams, and enter the Wabash. 
Little Embarras heads in the western and southwestern parts 
of this county, and runs southwest into Coles. 

The south and east sides of this county are well timbered 
with all the varieties found on the eastern side of the state, in- 
cluding poplar. 

The soil in general is rich, adapted to the various produc- 
tions of this state. Pork and beef — especially the former — 
are its chief exports, -which find a ready market at Terra 
Haute and Clinton, Indiana. 


Paris is a pleasant looking town, on the borders of a large 
prairie, surrounded with good farms and contains about 300 
inhabitants. The " Statesman," a weekly paper, is issued here. 

Grand View is rightly named. It is indeed a " grand 
view" to look over the rich and fertile prairie that nearly sur- 
rounds it. 

Bloomfield is a pleasant situation. 

Vermilion county is watered by the Big and Little Ver- 
million rivers, and tributaries, and contains large bodies of 
excellent land. In the eastern part of the county the timber 
predominates, amongst which is the poplar and beech. Along 
the streams are oaks of various species, hickory, walnut, linden, 
hackberry, ash, elm, and various other kinds common to Illinois. 
The soil of the prairies is a calcareous loam, from one to three 
feet deep. Their surface is generally dry and undulating. 

The exports are pork, beef, corn, salt, &c. 

The rail road now undergoing construction, from Spring- 
field, via Decatur and Danville, will open a direct communi- 
cation through the Wabash and Erie canal in Indiana, which, 
with the improved navigation of the Wabash river, will afford 
great facilities to this county. 

Danville,, the seat of justice, is situated on the Vermilion 
river of the Wabash, on a dry, sandy, elevated surface, sur- 
rounded with heavy timber on three sides, with an open prairie 
on the south. 

The Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians each have con- 
gregations. There are about 120 families. The country 
around is populous, and rich land. 

Champaign county is watered by the Salt Fork of the Ver- 
milion of the Wabash ; the Vermilion of the Illinois, the Kas- 
kaskia, and the North Fork of the Sangamon ; — all of which 
take their rise in this county and run in opposite directions. 
Here are extensive prairies, indented with beautiful groves of 
fine timber, of which Big Grove, at the head of Salt Fork is 
the largest. Around these groves the prairies are undulating 
and very rich soil. 

The settlements are not yet extensive. As an interior 
county, it will be further from market than those situated either 
on the Wabash or Illinois, but it is well adapted to the growth 
of stock, and will be undoubtedly a healthy region. 

TJrbanna is the county seat, adjoining Big Grove, and look- 
ing over an immense prairie to the south and west. 

164 traveler's directory 

Big Grove is on a branch of the Salt Fork of the Vef. 
milion river, and is about the center of the county. It is a 
body of heavy timbered, rich land, twelve miles long, and of 
an average of three miles in width. The country around is 
most delightful, the prairie is elevated, dry, and of a very rich 
soil, the water is good, and the country very healthy. The 
population at Big Grove must now exceed 200 families. 

Macon County lies to the west of Champaign. The south- 
eastern portion is watered by the Kaskaskia and its tributaries ; 
the middle and northern portions by the North Fork of the 

There is much first rate land in Macon county. Some of 
the prairies are large, and, in the interior, level and wet ; but 
generally dry, rich, and undulating, near the timber. 

Decatur, the seat of justice for Macon county, is situated on 
the west side of the North Fork of Sangamon river, and on 
the borders of an extensive prairie. It is dry, elevated, and 
bids fair for health. The country around is elevated, rich, 
and has a fine settlement. 

The Central, and the Nothern Cross rail roads intersect at 
this place, which will give it peculiar importance. 

Sangamon County, which was the largest county in the 
state, has recently been divided into four, and now forms 
Sangamon, Menard, Logan and Dane counties. The follow- 
ing general description from the " New Gazetteer of Illinois," 
applies to the whole. 

" Sangamon county is watered by the Sangamon river and 
its numerous branches. Those which take their rise within 
the limits of the count}'-, are Clary's, Rock, Richland, Prairie, 
Spring, Lick, Sugar, Horse, and Brush creeks, on the south 
side, proceeding upward in the arrangement ; and Crane, 
Indian, Cantrill's, Fancy, Wolf, and Clear creeks, which 
enter from the opposite side. Those branches which rise 
without the county, and yet run a considerable distance within 
it, are Salt creek and branches, North Fork, and South Fork. 
These streams not only furnish this county with an abundance 
of excellent water and a number of good mill seats, but are 
lined with extensive tracts of first rate timbered land. 

Here are oaks of various species, walnut, sugar maple, elm, 
linden, hickory, ash, hackberry, honey locust, mulberry, syca- 
more, cotton wood, sassafras, &c, together with the various 
shrubs common to the country. 


The size of the prairies in Sangamon county is seized upon 
as an objection, by persons who are not accustomed to a prai- 
rie country. But were the timber a little more equally distri- 
buted with prairie surface, its supply would be abundant. 
The prairies vary in width from one to eight or ten miles, and 
somewhat indefinite in length, being connected at the heads 
of the streams. 

Much of the soil in this county is of the richest quality, be- 
ing a calcareous loam, from one to three feet deep, intermixed 
with fine sand. The point of land that lies between the San- 
gamon and the Illinois rivers, which is chiefly prairie, is divided 
betwixt inundated land, dry prairie, and sand ridges. A stran- 
ger to observations upon the surface of Illinois, upon first sight, 
would pronounce most parts of Sangamon county a level or 
plane. It is not so. With the exception of the creek bottoms 
and the interior of large praires, it has an undulating surface, 
quite sufficient to render it one of the finest agricultural districts 
in the United States. These remarks are not meant exclusively 
for Sangamon. They apply with equal propriety to many other 
counties on both sides of the Illinois river. What has been 
heretofore known to persons abroad as the Sangamon country, 
may now be included in a large district, containing a number 
of large and populous counties. 

This county contains a larger quantity of rich land than any 
other in the state, and therefore can maintain a larger agricul- 
tural population, which is the great basis of national wealth. 

The first settlement on the waters of the Sangamon, made 
by white people for a permanent abode, was in 1819 ; the 
county was organized in 1821, and then embraced a tract of 
country 125 miles long, and seventy-five broad. 

The public lands were first offered for sale in November, 
1823, by which time, however, farms of considerable size, 
even to 100 acres of cultivated land, had been made. 

At the present time, the borders of the praires are covered 
with hundreds of smiling farms, and the interior animated with 
thousands of domestic animals. The rough and unseemly 
cabin is giving place to comfortable framed or brick tenements, 
and plenty every where smiles upon the labors of the hus- 

This county is in the geographical center of the state, and 
will eventually be in the center of population. 

Its river market and deposit is Beardstow" ; K "* TY1 "" l> *fj** 

166 traveler's directory 

imports will be received and its exports sent off by its own 
river, which has already been navigated by steam to the vi- 
cinity of Springfield, and when some of its obstructions are re- 
moved, will afford convenient navigation for steamboats of the 
smaller class. Its exports now are beef, cattle, pork, wheat, 
flour, corn meal, butter, cheese, &c. and soon will include al- 
most every article of a rich, agricultural country." 

Menard County is formed (as the map shows) from the 
northwestern, Logan from the northeastern, and Dane from 
the southeastern part of Sangamon as described above. In 
these counties there are several towns that deserve notice. 
We will commence with 

Springfield, the future seat of government of the state, 
after July 4th, 1839, and the seat of justice for Sangamon 

It is situated on the border of a beautiful prairie on the 
south side of the timber of Spring creek, on sections twenty- 
seven and thirty-four, in township sixteen north, in range five 
west of the third principal meridian. This town was laid off 
in February, 1822, before the lands in this region w T ere sold. 
At the land sales of November, 1823, the tract on which the 
older portion of the town is located, was purchased and duly 
recorded as a town. It then contained about thirty families, 
living in small log cabins. The surface is rather too level for 
a large town, into which it is destined to grow ; but it is a dry 
and healthy location. 

Springfield has nineteen dry goods stores, one wholesale 
and six retail groceries, four public houses, four drug stores, 
one book store, two clothing stores, eleven lawyers, eighteen 
physicians including steam doctors, one foundry for castings, 
four carding machines, mechanics and trades of various 
descriptions, and two printing offices from which are issued 
weekly the " State Register, " and the " Sangamon 
Journal." The public buildings are a court house, jail, a 
market house, and houses of worship for two Presbyterian 
churches, one Methodist, one Baptist Reformed, one Episco- 
palian, and one Baptist society, ^ach of which have ministers, 
and respectable congregations. 

The capitol, now in progress of construction, occupies the 
center of a square of three acres. It is designed to be 123 
feet in length, 89 feet in width, and 44 feet in height from the 
surface of the ground to the square of the building, exclusive 


of porticoes, which will project 12 feet on the north and south 

The basement contains eight large rooms, suitable for 
offices, and nineteen other apartments for fuel and various 
purposes, and a fire proof vault. 

The first story above the basement, comprises a hall, ex- 
tending the whole width of the building, 32 feet in width, and 
lighted from the dome. A room for the use of the supreme 
court, 40 by 50 feet ; two rooms 23 by 17 feet, suitable for 
committee rooms ; and three rooms, 46 by 24 feet, intended 
for a library and offices, each 16 feet in height. 

The second story will contain a hall for the House of 
Representatives, 82 by 40 feet ; a Senate chamber, 40 by 50 
feet ; each 20 feet in height, and lighted, in part, by lanterns 
from the roof. There are also eleven rooms of convenient 
size for committee rooms, offices, &c. 

The building is to be constructed of hewn stone, in large 
solid blocks, of a superior quality, to withstand the action of frost, 
fire, and water, of which an extensive quarry has been opened on 
Sugar Creek, seven miles from Springfield. The work in all 
its parts is performed under the personal supervision of Com- 
missioners appointed for the purpose, and is to be built in the 
most substantial, neat, and workmanlike manner, under the 
direction and according to the plan drawn by John F. 
Rague, Esq., Architect. 

The whole cost, including furniture, is estimated at 178,000 
dollars. Of this amount $50,000 have been provided by the 
citizens of Sangamon county, chiefly in Springfield, and the 
balance has been appropriated by the State. There are 
houses of worship in Springfield, and organized congregations 
for Methodists, Presbyterians, (both " Old" and " New 
School,") Baptists, Reformed Baptists or Cambellites, and 
Episcopalians. The population of the town is about 3,000. 
In 1824, it contained about 25 log cabins. It will doubtless 
soon be the largest inland town in the west. The site has 
proved to be peculiarly healthy, and in morals, temperance, 
good order, and intelligence, its population are not exceeded 
in the Western valley. The prices of property, and of unoc- 
cupied building lots, are not unreasonably high, and doubtless 
will advance considerably as the surrounding country fills up 
with population, and the rail road becomes occupied. 

The other towns within the present boundariesof Sangamon 


county as marked on the map, contain from 10 to 30 houses, 
and need no special notice. Each has a good natural site, and 
may become a place of some importance. The same remark 
will apply to the counties of Menard, Logan, and Dane, as 
have been made of Sangamon. 

Petersburgh is a place of some importance on Sangamon 
river, and will probably be the seat of justice for Menard. 
Postville has claims for the county seat of Logan, and Eden, 
burgh for that of Dane. Their fate will soon be decided by 
commissioners appointed to locate the seats of justice for these 
new counties. 

Cass county joins Menard on the south. It was formed 
from Morgan in 1S37, and is watered by various branches that 
fall into Sangamon river on the north, with the head branches 
of Indian and other small creeks that fall into the Illinois river, 
on the west and south. It is proportionably divided into tim- 
bered and prairie, the surface undulating, and the soil generally 
very rich. 

Beardstown has been noticed. Virginia is the seat of jus- 
tice, a new town on a beautiful site in North Prairie, and 
nearly central. 

Morgan county, is one of the most flourishing counties in 
the state, and was formed from an attached portion of Greene, 
in January, 1823. It then included Cass and Scott counties 
The whole track of country embraced within these three popu 
lous and flourishing counties, in 1821, contained only 20 
families. In 1825, its population was 4,052 ; in 1830, it was 
13,281. The population of the three counties may now be 
estimated at 30,000. 

Morgan county is one of the richest agricultural counties in 
the state, is well proportioned into timber and prairie, and con- 
tains many extensive and well cultivated farms. 

Improved farms, now sell from 10 to 20 and even 30 dollars 
per acre, and will soon command 50 dollars. Emigration, at- 
tended with industry and enterprise, in a few fleeting years, 
has changed a region that we have seen in all the wildness of 
uncultivated nature, into smiling villages and luxuriant fields, 
and rendered it the happy abode of intelligence and virtue. 
The same remarks will apply to the adjacent counties. 

Jacksonville is one of the largest inland towns in the state, 
and the seat of justice for Morgan county. It is situated on ele- 
vated ground, in the midst of a most delightful prairie, on sections 


twenty and twenty-one, township fifteen north, in range ten 
west of the third principal meridian. 

The plat of this town was laid off in 1825, but its rapid 
growth did not commence in three or four years. 

Few towns exhibit a finer prospect than does Jacksonville, 
from whatever side the traveler approaches. The surrounding 
prairie country, now in a state of cultivation is beautifully undu- 
lating, and uncommonly rich. The timber in sight is either in 
groves, or spread along the waters of the Mauvaiseterre and 

It has about 20 stores and groceries, with a proportion of 
public houses, mechanics' shops, manufactories, and profes- 
sional men. 

The public buildings are, a spacious court house, of brick, a 
neat framed building for the Presbyterian house of worship, a 
large brick building for the Methodist society, and a handsome 
edifice, also of brick, for the Episcopalian denomination, 
another of wood for Congregationalists, one of brick for the 
Baptist reformers, a male and female academy, a brick market 
house, and a county jail. The college edifices are one mile 
west from the town. 

There are two printing offices that publish weekly papers, 
and also a book and job printing office. 

The population of Jacksonville is about 2,500 ; exclusive of 
the college students. 

Situated near the center of the county, and in the midst of 
one of the finest tracts of land, densely populated with indus- 
trious and enterprising farmers, with the advantages of good 
water, health and good society, Jacksonville must continue to 
prosper, and doubtless will attract many emigrants who are 
seeking an agreeable home in the " far west." 

The rail roads projected and now working from this place to 
the Illinois river, have been noticed under the head of " Inter- 
nal Improvements." 

Naples and Meredosia, the river towns, have been noticed 
in connection with Illinois river. Princeton, New Lexing- 
ton, Lynnville, Geneva, Manchester, Franklin and Waverly, 
are small and pleasant inland villages. 

Scott county was formed from the southwestern part of 
Morgan county, in January, 1839. It is watered by the Mau- 
vaiseterre, Sandy, and some smaller streams. It has, propor- 


170 traveler's directory 

tionably, more timbered land and less prairie than Morgan 
county ; but in other respects is similar. 

Winchester is expected to be the county seat. It was laid 
off in 1831, on elevated ground, and is a thriving village, in- 
creasing rapidly, has several stores, mechanics of various de- 
scriptions, and a population of three or four hundred. The 
Baptists, Methodists, and Reformers have societies here. It 
has excellent lime and free stone quarries in the vicinity, and 
several mills. 

The legislature has appropriated 2000 dollars to construct a 
good road from this place to the Illinois river, opposite Florence 
(formerly called Augusta.) 

Exeter is a small village, including mills, on the Mauvaise- 

We shall now pass over the Illinois river, and explore the 
counties on the 


Beginning at the junction of the Illinois and Mississippi 
rivers, the long irregular strip of land forms Calhoun county. 
It is bounded on three sides by those rivers, and on the northern 
end, by Pike county, and is thirty-seven and a half miles long, 
and from three to ten miles in width from one river to the 
other — making about 260 square miles. The mouth of Bay 
creek is in the northern part of this county, which affords a 
harbor and navigation for steamboats seven miles. There 
are no other creeks worth naming. Several fine prairies lie 
at the foot of the bluffs on both sides of the county, amongst 
which are Illinois, Salt, Belleview. On the rivers considerable 
tracts are subject to inundation, and in the interior are bluffs, 
ravines and sink holes. Still there are considerable tracts of 
good land unoccupied. 

The bottoms furnish excellent range for stock. Cattle, beef, 
pork, corn, honey, and beeswax are its exports. 

Surrounded by rivers and low bottoms, Calhoun county is 
less healthy than others on the military tract. 

Coal in large bodies is found on the Mississippi in the south 
part of the county. 

Gilead, the seat of justice, is situated at the foot of the bluffs, 
three fourths of a mile below Salt Prairie Slough. It is a small 
village. Hamburg, ten miles north, has a good landing. 


Pike county is the oldest county on the Military tract, 
and was erected from Madison and other counties, in 1821. 
It then embraced the whole country north and west of the 
Illinois river; but by the subsequent formation of new 
counties, it is now reduced to ordinary size, containing" 
about twenty-two townships, or 800 square miles. 

Besides the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, which wash 
two sides, it has Snycartee slough running the whole 
length of its western border, which affords steamboat 
navigation to Atlas at a full stage of water. Pike county 
is watered by the Pigeon, Hadley, Keys, Black, Dutch 
Church, Six Mile, and Bay creeks, which fall into the 
Mississippi, and Big and Little Blue, and the North and 
West forks of McKce's creeks, which enter the Illinois. 
Good mill seats are furnished by these streams. 

The land is various. The section of country, or rather 
island, between the Snycartee slough and the Mississippi, 
is a sandy soil, but mostly inundated land at the spring 
floods. It furnishes a great summer and winter range for 
stocks, affording considerable open prairies, with skirts 
of heavy bottom timber near the streams. Along the 
bluffs, and for two or three miles back, the land is chiefly 
timbered, but cut up with ravines, and quite rolling. In 
the interior, and towards Schuyler county, excellent prai- 
rie and timbered uplands are found, especially about the 
Blue rivers and McKee's creek. This must eventually 
become a rich and populous county. 

In Pleasant Vale, on Key's creek, is a salt spring, twenty 
feet in diameter, which boils from the earth, and throws 
off a stream of some size forming a salt pond in its vicinity. 
Salt has been made here, though not in great quantities. 

Pittsfield, the seat of justice for Pike county, was laid 
off in April, 1833. It ia a high and healthy situation, in an 
undulating prairie, and on the dividing ridge nearly 
equidistant from the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The 
country around is fertile, and proportionably distributed 
into timber and prairie, and is rapidly settling. 

Griggsville is a beautiful village, on high ground, on a 
large undulating and rich prairie, and is surrounded with 
flourishing settlements. 

Florence, (formerly Augusta,) is the landing for Pitta- 
field, and is a good situation for business. 


Rockport is situated at the base of the bluffs, and on the 
Snycartee slough where mills for sawing- and grinding are 
erected. A charter has been granted and a company 
formed to open a steamboat canal from the Snycartee to 
the Mississippi rivers, at a point three miles above Rock- 
port, where the Snycartee approaches within half a mile 
of the Mississippi, and thus furnish steamboat navigation 
direct to the town. 

Pleasant Vale, Worcester, Atlas, and Perry, are pleasant 
villages. Other town sites have been formed. 

Adams county lies north of Pike. 

Its streams are Bear creek and branches, Cedar, Tyrcr, 
Mill, Fall, and Pigeon creeks, on the western, and the 
north and west forks of McKee'a creek on its eastern 

For quality of soil, well proportioned into timber and 
prairie, it is second to none in the state. Few tracts of 
country are equal, and none superior to the one on Bear 

Its productions are similar to other counties in the 
military district. The people in general are enterprising 1 
and industrious farmers. 

Quincy, the seat of justice, is situated mostly on the 
high bluff that overlooks the river and the opposite coun- 
try in Missouri. It is a flourishing town, rapidly increas- 
ing 1 in population and business. 

The land office for the sale of Congress lands north 
and east of the Illinois river is located at this place. The 
land in the vicinity is excellent. A low alluvion lies on 
the opposite side of the Mississippi river, which is over- 
flowed in hig-h waters. 

The adjacent country is covered over with fine farms. 
The " Q,uincy House" is one of the largest and best hotels 
in the state. 

Columbus, Payson, Clayton, and Mendon (formerly 
Fairfield) are flourishing 1 villag-es. Several other towns 
have commenced improvements. 

Brown county was formed from the southwestern por- 
tion of Schuyler in January, 1839. McKee's creek, 
Crooked creek, and their branches, form its water courses. 
Like the adjacent counties, the land is rich and well tim- 


Mount Sterling is the seat of justice. 

Versailles is a small village. 

Schuyler county on its southeastern side is washed by 
the Illinois, the interior is watered by Crooked and Crane 
creeks, and the northeastern part by Sugar creek. 

Along- the Illinois river is considerable land inundated 
at high floods, generally heavily timbered, as is more than 
one half of the county. The middle and northern portions 
are divided into timber and prairie of an excellent quality. 
Along Crooked creek is an extensive body of fine timber. 
Sugar creek also furnishes another body of timber eight 
or ten miles wide. 

Rushville, the seat of justice, is situated in the central 
part of the county The Presbyterians, Episcopalians, 
Methodists, Campbellites, and Baptists have churches. 

The court house is of brick. Good building stone and 
plenty of coal are found in the vicinity. 

The settlements around Rushville are large, and the 
village itself exhibits a quietness and neatness in its ex- 
ternal appearance that is pleasing to the traveller. 

The rail road to Erie is to be constructed by state 

Fulton county is triangular in shape. The Illinois 
river washes its southeastern border. Spoon river passes 
through it; and the Otter creek waters the southwestern, 
and Copperas creek the northeastern portions. 

Nearly one half of Fulton county is heavily timbered 
with the varieties that abound on the military tract; and 
much both of its prairie and timbered land, is of an ex- 
cellent quality. It is in general well watered ; the streams 
usually flow over a gravelly bottom, and furnish many 
good mill seats. 

Its productions are and will continue to be similar to 
this region of country ; and the Illinois and Spoon rivers 
will afford facilities to market. This whole region on the 
Illinois must shortly become a wealthy agricultural 

Lewistown, the seat of justice, is situated four miles 
east of Spoon river, and twelve miles from the Illinois. 
It is surrounded with a heavy body of timber, chiefly oaks 
of various species. The surface of the surrounding 
country is undulating. 



Waterford, on Spoon river at the bluffs, is a good town 
site. A recent appropriation of the legislature will re- 
move the obstructions to the navigation to. this place. 

Bernadotte and Ellisville have good water power. Can- 
ton is a pleasant inland town of respectable size with a 
chartered college. The country around is high, undula- 
ting, fertile, and healthy. Several other small towns 
have made a good beginning in this county. 

Peoria county is watered by the Kickapoo, the heads 
of Spoon river. Copperas creek and the Senatchwine. 
On the Kickapoo, and on the shore of Peoria lake, for 
several miles, the timber is good, but the prairie predomi- 

The surface of the land is moderately rolling ; on the 
Kickapoo it degenerates into bluffs and ravines. In the 
western and northwestern portion there is a scarcity of 
timber. Between Peoria and La Salle prairie is heavy 
timber, from two to five miles in width, and in places be- 
yond the bluffs. In the bottom land adjoining the lake, 
are spots that overflow ; but, in general, it is fit for culti- 
vation. The bottom timber consists of oaks of various 
species, white and black walnut, ash, hackberry, locust 
and some hickory, buckeye, coffee nut, and grape vines. 

Peoria, the seat of justice, has already been described. 
The other villages in this county are small, but pleasantly 

Knox county is watered by Henderson and Spoon 
rivers, and their tributaries. 

The prairies in this county are large and generally of 
the best quality ; and there are several large and excel- 
lent tracts of timber on the water courses. The soil in 
general is of the first quality. 

Knoxville is the county seat of Knox county, and is 
pleasantly situated on an elevated and rich prairie on the 
north side, and adjoining the timber of Haw creek. It 
was laid off about 1832, and bids fair to become a thriving 
inland town. The surrounding country is rich, and set- 
tling fast with industrious farmers. 

Galcsborough was established by a religious colony in 
1836, has a manual labor school, and is pleasantly situated. 
The other towns marked on the map are small and plea- 
sant villages. 


Macdonough county is watered by Crooked creek and 
its branches. 

The eastern side of Macdonough county for eight or 
ten miles in width is prairie, the remainder is suitably 
proportioned into timber and prairie of the richest quality. 
A tract of country, fifteen or twenty miles square, taken 
from the eastern side of Hancock and the western half of 
Macdonough, is not excelled for agricultural purposes by 
any portion of the great valley. 

Most of the streams have good mill seats for a portion 
of the year. 

Macomb, the seat of justice, is situated on elevated 
ground, in a delightful prairie, between Drowning fork 
and Town fork, near the centre of the county. It is a 
nourishing village. 

Hancock county lies between Macdonough and the 
Mississippi river. 

Hancock prairie, from twelve to twenty miles in width, 
runs from south to north through this county. On the 
east, it is watered by the branches of Crooked creek ; and 
on the southwest by Bear, and on the northwest by Camp 
creek. This county in the agregate is deficient in tim- 
ber. The banks of Bear creek furnish a supply for that 
portion of the county. A strip lines the bank of the Mis- 
sissippi, in some places of considerable width and of ex- 
cellent quality — in other places narrow and of inferior 
quality. A tolerably dense settlement extends along the 
line of this timber. Crooked creek furnishes a due pro- 
portion of timber and prairie, and a body of excellent 

Warsaw, its river port, has been noticed. 

Carthage, the seat of justice, is a pleasant inland village. 

Wahhen county lies north of Hancock and Macdonough. 

Its prominent stream is Henderson river and branches ; 
Ellison, Honey, and Camp creeks are in Warren. The 
land on these streams is generally a little undulating, rich, 
and where timber exists, it is excellent. A number of 
good mill seats exist. 

Much of the bottom in this county that lies on the river 
is low, subject to inundation, and has a series of sand 
ridges back of it, with bold and pointed bluffs further in 
the rear. 

176 traveler's directory 

North of Henderson river is an extensive prairie, which 
divides it from Pope and Edwards rivers. 

Monmouth, the county seat, is in the prairie, on a hand 
some site, and has a flourishing- settlement and a first 
rate tract of country around it. 

Mercer county is watered by Edwards and Pope rivers, 
and the northern branches of Henderson river, along 
which are excellent tracts of timber, as there is on the 
borders of the Mississippi. Its middle and eastern parts 
have extensive tracts of prairie. 

It is said that the seasons are more uniform, the winters 
more severe, and the summers more pleasant than in the 
counties further south ; but the frosts of spring do not in- 
jure the labors of the husbandman. 

The soil is rich, undulating, and excellent for farming. 

Its towns are small, and there is much excellent land 
yet uncultivated. Seat of justice is Millersburgh. 

Henry county may be regarded as one vast prairie, in- 
dented with beautiful groves of various shapes and sizes, 
of excellent timber. Red Oak, White Oak, Black Oak, 
Sugar Tree, and Shabaney's groves are the principal ones, 
but there are many smaller groves and strips of timbered 
land along Green and Rock rivers. 

The prairie land adjacent to these groves, is undulating, 
dry, and very rich. 

Green river, which passes through it, is a deep and 
handsome stream, and can be made navigable at small 
expense. There is considerable swamp, intersected with 
sand ridges, in the northeastern part of the county. 

Richmond, the county seat, is located in a large prairie. 
Public buildings are about to be erected. The other 
towns marked on the map are small, but may soon grow to 
respectable villages. In 1835, the population did not ex- 
ceed 50. Now (1839,) it equals 900, and most of its in- 
habitants are a moral, industrious, and intelligent class. 

Stark county has been recently formed from Bureau. 
It is watered by Spoon river and branches, and contains 
excellent land. The timber is of good quality and the 
prairies undulating and rich. Wyoming is likely to be 
the seat of justice. 

Marshall county is also recently organized from Put- 


nam. It lies on both sides of the Illinois river, the land 
is all excellent, and Lacon will be the county seat. 

Bureau county is watered by Bureau and some smaller 
creeks which fall into the Illinois river. There are 
several swamps in its northwestern part. It has much 
rich and dry prairie, with fine timber on Bureau creek 
and Illinois river. 

Princeton, the county seat, was laid off by colonists 
from Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1833, It contains a 
post office of the same name, and is in the heart of a 
flourishing- settlement and a rich body of land. 

Windsor and Greenfield are pleasant villages. 

Putnam county has been reduced to a small area, but 
is made up of exceedingly rich land. Its eastern portion 
embraces a large tract of prairie country. Hennepin, its 
county seat, has been noticed in connection with the 
towns on the Illinois river. 

Tazewell county is watered by the Illinois river, which 
extends the whole length of its northwestern side, Mac- 
kinaw, and its branches, Ten Mile, Farm, and Blue 
creeks, all which enter the Illinois, with some of the head 
branches of the Sangamon. 

A strip of this county, consisting mostly of sandy prai- 
ries, puts down the Illinois river, and between that and 
Sang-amon county. On the bluffs of the Mackinaw and 
the other streams, the land is broken, and the timber 
chiefly oak ; in other portions of the county it has an un- 
dulating appearance and has much good land. 

Below Pekin, and towards Havanna, are swamps, ponds, 
and sand ridges. The southeastern portion of the county 
is watered by Sugar creek and its branches. 

Tremont, the seat of justice, is situated in a delightful 
prairie, between Pleasant Grove and Mackinaw, on high 

The religious denominations are Baptists, Presbyterians, 
Methodists, Episcopalians, and Unitarians, all of whom at 
present worship in one house. It lies in the heart of a 
beautiful country of prairie and timber. 

Washington, Groveland, and several other towns are 
thriving and respectable villages. 

McLean county has large groves of excellent timber, 

178 traveler's directory 

and extensive prairies. One third of the eastern and a 
portion of the northern side is an immense prairie. 

The groves are beautifully arranged, of various shapes 
and sizes, from those of 15 or 18 square miles, down to 
those of a few acres. Blooming- Grove, Mackinaw, Stout's 
Twin, Buckle's, Randolph, Brig, Cheney's and Dawson's 
Groves, are the principal ones. 

McLean county is watered by the Kickapoo, Sugar 
creek, and Salt creek, all of which take their rise in the 
prairies of this county. The heads of the Vermilion river 
of the Illinois are found in the northeastern corner, and 
those of Sangamon are on the eastern skirts. These 
streams furnish good mill seats when the water is not too 

The country is elevated, moderately undulating, and of 
a rich soil. Where timber exists it is usually of excellent 
quality. Here are to be found oak of various species, 
walnut, hickory, ash, sugar maple, elm, hackberry, linden, 
cherry, and many other kinds. Papaw is frequently 
amongst the smaller growth. 

Of the minerals, limestone is found on the branches of 

the Vermilion. Granite, in detached masses, or bouldert,', 

called by the settlers "lost rocks," and used for mill 

, stones, are plentifully scattered over the country. Coal 

is found in several settlements. 

Bloomington, the county seat, is a delightful situation, 
on the north side of Blooming Grove, and on the margin 
of a large prairie. It is a respectable town of several 
hundred inhabitants and rapidly increasing. The other 
towns are small, but growing and well situated. 
' Dewit county is a new one recently formed from por- 
tions of Macon and McLean, and watered by Salt creek 
and Kickapoo. The land, both prairie and timber, is first 

Livingston county is watered chiefly by Vermilion 
river and its branches. The prairies are large, and the 
bodies of timber, small but of a good quality. It may 
rather be regarded as one vast prairie, with groves and 
strips of timber on the streams. The land is rich. 

Pontiac and Cassville are small places. 

Iroquois county is a very large proportion prairie, with 
ponds and sand ridges. The Kankakee, with the Iroquois 


and their tributaries, are the water courses. There is 
much rich prairie in this county, much that is level or 
flat, and some valuable timber along- the Iroquois, Drift- 
wood and Kankakee. 

The county seat is Iroquois, on the south side of the 
river of the same name. Concord is a small town oppo- 
site. Each contains about 20 houses. 

Several other town sites have been located in this 
county, but need not be noticed". The main road from 
Lafayette, Indiana, to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, passes 
through the county seat. 

There is a long and narrow strip of country, nearly all 
prairie, which lies west and south of Iroquois county, that 
remains attached to Vermilion county for judicial pur- 
poses. Very few inhabitants live on this tract. 

Will county lies north. Its timber is in detached por- 
tions in groves and along the water courses of the streams; 
— in some parts are large bodies ; in other parts are ex- 
tensive prairies. Much of Will county is excellent, first 
rate land. 

It is watered by the Kankakee and branches, the Des 
Plaines, Du Page, Hickory, Forked, Rock, Soldier, Haw- 
kins and Dennis creeks, and some of the tributaries of 
the Calumet. The Illinois and Michigan Canal will pass 
along the valley of the Des Plaines. 

Juliet is the seat of justice. 

Plainfield is a pleasant village. Kankakee in the forks 
of the two rivers may, eventually, become a place of some 
importance. At present it needs buildings and inhabi- 
tants to make a town. 

La Salle coukty lies west of Will. 

Besides the Illinois river, which passes through it, Fox 
river, Big and Little Vermilion, Crow creek, Au Sable, 
Indian creek, Mason, Tomahawk, and several smaller 
streams water this county. In general, the streams in 
this part of the state run over a rocky or gravelly bed, and 
have but few alluvial bottoms near them. 

Like the adjacent counties, La Salle is deficient in tim- 
ber ; but contains abundance of rich, undulating, dry prai- 
rie, fine mill streams, extensive coal beds, and must 
eventually become a rich county. Its situation will ena- 
ble the population to send off their produce either by the 

J 80 traveler's directory 

Illinois river to a southern market, or by the lakes to th« 

Ottawa, the county seat, and the other towns along the 
river, have been noticed in connection with the canal. 
Vermilionville is a pleasant interior village. Lowell con- 
tains valuable water power on the Vermilion river. 

Cook county is watered by the Des Pfaines, the north 
and south branches of the Chicago, and some smaller 

Its surface is tolerably level, of a rich soil, with large 
prairies, and the timber in groves. There is a fine body 
of timber on the north fork of the Chicago, and along the 
lake shore. 

This county, and those adjacent, differ in several re- 
spects from the country below. The small streams run 
perennially, over rocky and gravelly beds through the 
prairies. The timber is not confined to the banks of the 
streams, but exists in groves and strips, often on the di- 
viding ridges between the water courses. The summers 
are comparatively cooler, and the winters longer and more 

Chicago, though noticed in conjunction with the Illi- 
nois and Michigan Canal, may again be sketched by an 
exhibition of the following brief article from the Gazatteer 
of Illinois for 1837. 

" Chicago, the seat of justice for Cook county, is situa- 
ted on a river or bay of the same name, at the junction of 
North and South branches, and from thence to Lake 
Michigan. The town is beautifully situated on level 
ground, but sufficiently elevated above the highest floods, 
and on both sides of the river. 

Its growth, even for western cities, has been of unparal- 
leled rapidity. In 1832 it contained five small stores, and 
250 inhabitants. In 1831, there were four arrivals from 
the lower lakes, two brigs and two schooners, which was 
sufficient for all the trade of the northeastern part of Illi- 
nois, and the northwestern part of Indiana. In 1835 there 
were about 2G7 arrivals of brigs, ships, and schooners, and 
9 of steamboats, and brought 5015 tons of merchandise 
and 9400 barrels of salt. The value of merchandise im- 
ported equal to two and a half millions of dollars, besides 
a vast number of emigrant families, with their furniture, 


provisions, etc. Owing to the vast influx of emigration, 
the exports have been but small. There are about 60 stores, 
30 groceries, 10 public houses, 23 physicians, 41 lawyers, 
5 ministers, and about 5000 inhabitants. 

The Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, 
and Roman Catholics, each have houses of worship. The 
harbor constructed by the United States government is 
now nearly completed, and will afford one of the safest 
and best on the northern lakes. 

Chicago is now an incorporated city, under the usual 
municipal regulations. It has one or more insurance 
companies, fire companies, water works for the supply of 
the city from the lake, several good schools and a re- 
spectable academy, two printing offices a daily and 2 
weekly papers, and mechanics of every description. 

"The natural position of the place, the enterprise and 
capital that will concentrate here, with favorable pros- 
pects for health, must soon make this place the emporium 
of trade and business for all the northern country. 

"Back of the town, towards the Des Plaines, is a fer- 
tile prairie, and for the first three or four miles, elevated 
and dry. 

41 Along the north branch of the Chicago, and the lake 
shore, are extensive bodies of fine timber. Large quan- 
tities of white pine exist in the regions towards Green 
Bay, and about Grand river in Michigan, from which lum- 
ber in any quantities is obtained and conveyed by ship- 
ping to Chicago. Yellow poplar boards and plank are 
brought across the lake from the St. Joseph's river. 

Du Page county has recently been formed from Cook 
and a portion of Will counties. It is watered by the Du 
Page and its tributaries, and some other small streams'. 
There is much prairie in this county, but it is mostly dry, 
undulating and rich. The timber, where it exists (and 
there are some large bodies on Du Page) is good. 

Naperville, a handsome and flourishing village on the 
west fork of Du Page creek, will probably be the county 
seat. Warrenville is a good town site. 

Kane county is watered by Fox river in its southeast- 
ern parts, and Indian creek, Somonauk, Rock, and Black- 
berry, Wabonsic, Morgan and Mill creeks, that enter Fox 

162 traveler's directory 

river. These are all excellent mill streams, and already 
saw and flouring mills are built or in progress. 

The timber is in groves, of which Au Sable, Big-woods, 
Little-woods and various others are thickly settled around. 
There is white, black, red, yellow and burr oaks, sugar 
maple, linden or basswood, black and white walnut, hick- 
ory, ash of various species, white poplar, ironwood, elm, 
some cherry, and occasional clumps of cedar along the 
cliffs that overhang Fox river, and other streams. 

Geneva is the seat of justice. St. Charles, (formerly 
Charlestown,) Aurora, Elgin, and several other towns, are 
along the valley of Fox river. 

De Kalb countv is watered by the south branches of 
the Kishwaukee, and the heads of Indian, Somonock, and 
other small streams. The land is mostly prairie, moder- 
ately undulating and very rich- 

The most prominent groves of timber are Union, Ohio, 
Big, Shabanee, Hoosier, Norwegian, Somonock, and 
Squaw grove. The timber is excellent, and consists of 
oaks of various species, walnut, sugar tree, elm, aspin, 
and other varieties. 

Coltonville is the seat of justice for the present. Here 
is a large chalybeate spring. The village is located on 
the site of the old Pottawatomie town, where an old chief 
and many of the tribe lie entombed. 

Ogle county is on Rock river and its branches, and has 
been much reduced from its former size by the formation 
of Lee county from its southern portion. 

Pine, Leaf, and Kite rivers, and several smaller streams, 
all of which empty themselves into Rock liver, furnish 
good mill seats. The timber is chiefly in groves, many 
of which ate peculiarly beautiful, and of various shapes 
and sizes. Much of the surface is undulating, the soil 
calcareous, deep and rich, and the country is rapidly 

Oregon city is the county seat. Several other towns 
are springing up on Rock river. 

Buffalo grove contains 4 or 5 sections of timber, sur- 
rounded with the richest prairie. 

Lee county has been recently formed from Ogle. 

Its water courses are the Winnebago Inlet and Rock 
river, with Winnebago swamp in its southwestern corner 


Dixon, the projected county seat, is a beautiful site and 
a fine village. Here, as shown upon the map, concentrate 
a number of important roads and stage routes. Grand 
e Tour, is a singular bend in Rock river, which affords 
fine water power. Rock River Rapids and their impor- 
tance have been noticed in connection with the improve- 
ment of Rock river. 

Whiteside county begins to attract general notice and 
receive considerable accessions of emigrants, or, as the 
modern phrase is, immigrants. 

It is watered by Rock river, which passes diagonally 
through it, Little Rock, Marais d'Ogee lake and swamp 
that divide it from Rock Island county, Cat-tail swamp, 
and several small streams. 

It has some tracts of heavy timber along Rock river and 
Little Rock, besides groves, copses, and brushy swamps. 
Some of its prairie land is flat, while other portions are 
beautifully undulating and rich. 

Rock Islanb county is a small irregularly shaped 

Rock river, and some minor streams, water this county. 
Rock Island, in the Mississippi, is included in this county. 
The soil along the Mississippi for twenty-five miles is al- 
luvion, sandy, and rich, including the site of the old Sauk 
village. There is much good land in the interior, be- 
tween the rivers. 

Stephenson is the seat of justice. 

Cakholl county has recently been formed from Jo Da 
viess. It embraces a fine tract of country watered by 
Plum creek and other small streams. The surface is more 
undulating and diversified than further south. The tim- 
ber and prairie similar to the adjacent counties. Savanna 
will be the seat of justice. 

Jo Daviess county, has Apple river, Fever river, Small 
Pox, and some other small streams for its water courses. 
The surface is undulating, in some parts hilly and broken, 
and the soil generally of a good quality. Lead, copper, 
lime and freestone are among its minerals. The timber 
is in groves, and upon the margin of the streams. It is 
well watered and abounds with fine springs. 

The county was named in honor of the late General Jo- 
seph H. Daviess, of Kentucky, who gallantly fell, in the 


disastrous battle of Tippecanoe, in 1811. It was bad 
taste, however, in the legislature, to affix the apppellation 
of Jo to a name that has received marked respect in the 
western states, and it is surprising- that the people have 
never applied for a correction of this legislative blunder. 

Galena is the seat of justice, and has been described in 
connection with river towns. 

Stephenson county -is watered by the Peekatonokee 
and its tributaries on the north, and the heads of Plum 
river and smaller streams in the southwestern part. 

The timber is mostly in groves ; the prairies generally 
undulating and rich, with tracts of hilly barrens and oak 
openings. The population is not large but rapidly set- 
tling, as are all the northern counties. 

The seat of justice is Freeport. 

Winnebago county has Rock river passing through it 
from north to south ; the Peekatonokee comes in on its 
western border and enters Rock river in township 46 
north ; Kishwaukee waters its southeastern part and en- 
ters Rock river in township 43 north, besides some smaller 
streams. There is much excellent land in Winnebago 
county; — the timber is in groves and detached portions, 
and the prairies undulating and abundantly rich. Rock 
river furnishes immense water power, especially at Rock- 
ford, and all the streams abound in good mill seats. 

Rockford is the present seat of justice. 

Boone county is an excellent tract of country. Its 
county seat is Belvidere, a pleasant and delightful village 
adjoining Squaw prairie. 

McHenry county is watered by Fox river and its tribu- 
taries, with Cache Mere, Crystal, and other small lakes. 
Some of these lakes have limpid water, gravelly beds, 
with ridges of gravel and sand around them. 

On the east side of Fox river, the soil approaches to a 
clay, while on the western side it is a rich, sandy loam. 
There is considerable timber along Fox river, and many 
beautiful groves and oak openings in the interior. 

In quality the land is similar to the adjacent counties. 

McHenry, on the west bank of Fox river, is the county 

Lake county, recently formed from McHenry, is in 
the northeast corner of the state, adjoining Lake Michigan. 


Along- the lake shore is a large hody of timber. Further 
interior the prairie predominates, and the soil is clayey 
but rich. The principal streams are the Des Plaines and 

This county, like all the northern unsurveyed and un- 
sold portion of the state, is rapidly settling, and will soon 
form a respectable county. 

Jersey County, recently formed from the south part of 
Greene. It is a rich tract of land, proportioned into timber 
and prairie, and filling up fast with an enterprising popula. 

The seat of justice is Jerseyville. 

The towns in this county are described under the head of 
Greene County, page 160. 

Williamson County, (organized by vote of the people in 
1839,) was taken from the south part of Franklin, (see page 
147,) and includes the town sites of Bainbridge and Fredo- 
nia. It is an undulating tract of country, two-thirds timbered 
land, good soil, and deserving the attention of emigrants. 

Its water courses are the South Fork of Saline creek, Crab, 
orchard, and other branches of Muddy river. 

16* j 



A few of the following- pages are taken from the Author's 
" New Guide for Emigrants," published in 1836. Some 
changes and variations of course exist at different seasons 
in the -price of steamboat and stage fare. In the autumn 
of 1838, when the water of the Ohio and other western 
rivers were lower than any previous years, since the run- 
ning of steamboats, travelers found great difficulty and 
an accumulation of expense — in some cases beyond rea- 
son — but that was an extraordinary season. 

From the li New Guide for Emigrants." 

Suggestions to Emigrants — Canal, Steamboat and Stage 
Routes — Other Modes of Travel — Expenses — Roads, 
Distances, etc., etc. 

In the concluding chapter to this Guide, it is proposed 
to give such information as is always desirable to emi- 
grants upon removing, or traveling for any purpose, to 
the West. 

1. Persons in moderate circumstances, or who would 
save time and expense, need not make a visit to the 
West, to ascertain particulars previous to removal. A few 
general facts, easily collected from a hundred sources, 
will enable persons to decide the great question whether 
they will emigrate to the Valley. By the same means, 
emigrants may determine to what State, and to what part 
of that State, their course shall be directed. There are 
many things that a person of plain, common sense will 
take for granted without inquiry, — such as facilities for 
obtaining all the necessaries of life ; the readiness with 
which property of any description may be obtained for a 
fair value, and especially farms and wild land; that they 
can live where hundreds of thousands of others of similar 
habits and feelings live ; and above all, they should take 
it for granted, that there are difficulties to be encountered 
in every country, and in all business,— that these difficul- 



ties can be surmounted with reasonable effort, patience 
and perseverance, and that in every country, people 
sicken and die. 

2. Having decided to what State and part of the State 
an emigrant will remove, let him then conclude to take 
as little furniture and other lug-gage as he can do with, 
especially if he comes by public conveyances. Those 
who reside within convenient distance of a sea port, 
would find it both safe and economical to ship by New 
Orleans, in boxes, such articles as are not wanted on the 
road, especially if they steer for the navigable waters of 
the Mississippi. Bed and other clothing, books, etc., 
packed in boxes, like merchants' goods, will go much 
safer and cheaper by New Orleans, than by any of the in- 
land routes. I have received more than one hundred 
packages and boxes, from eastern ports, by that route, 
within 20 years, and never lost one. Boxes should be 
marked to the owner or his agent at the river port where 
destined, and to the charge of some forwarding house in 
New Orleans. The freight and charges may be paid 
when the boxes are received. 

3. If a person designs to remove to the north part of 
Ohio, and Indiana, to Chicago and vicinity, or to Michi- 
gan, or Greenbay, his course would be by the New York 
canal, and the lakes. The following table, showing the 
time and the opening of the canal at Albany and Buffalo, 
and the opening of the lake, from 1827 to 1835, is from a 
report of a committee at Buffalo to the common council 
of that city. It will be of use to those who wish to take 
the northern route in the spring. 


Canal opened at 

Canal opened at 

Lake Erie opened 
at Buffalo. 


April 21 

April 21 

April 21 


" 1 

" 1 

" 1 


" 25 

" 29 

May 10 


" 15 

" 20 

April 6 


" 16 

" 16 

May 8 


" 18 

" 25 

April 27 


" 22 

11 22 

" 23 


" 16 

t< 17 

'• 6 


" 15 

" 15 

May 8 



The same route will carry emigrants to Cleaveland, and 
by the Ohio canal to Columbus, or to the Ohio river at 
Portsmouth, from whence by steamboat, direct communi- 
cations will offer to any river port in the Western States. 
From Buffalo, steamboats run constantly, (when the lake 
is open,) to Detroit, stopping- at Erie, Ashtabula, Cleave- 
land, Sandusky, and many other ports from whence stage9 
run to every prominent town. Transportation wagons 
are employed in forwarding goods. 

Schedule from 

Buffalo to Detroit by water. 



Dunkirk, N. Y 


Cleaveland, Ohio, 


Portland, " 




Erie, Pa., 


Amherstburg, N.C. 

, 52—299 

Ashtabula, Ohio, 


Detroit, Mich. 

, 18—317 

Fairport, " 


From thence to Chicago Illinois. 



St. Clair River, 

Presque Isle, 








Isle Brule, 


Fort Gratiot, 


Fort Howard, W. 

White Rock, 




Thunder Island, 


Milwaukee, W. T., 


Middle Island, 


Chicago, 111., 


From Cleaveland to Portsmouth, via. Ohio canal. 



Cuyahoga Aqueduct 




Old Portage 








New Portage, 


Licking Summit, 




Lancaster Canaan, 




Columbus, side cut 

















25 280 

New Philadelphia, 




New-Comers' Town, 22—115 

Portsmouth, (Ohio r. 

) 13—307 



The most expeditious, pleasant aud direct route for 
travelers to the southern parts of Ohio and Indiana; to 
the Illinois river, as far north as Peoria ; to the Upper 
Mississippi, as Q,uincy, Rock Island, Galena and Prairie 
du Chien; to Missouri; and to Kentucky, Tennessee, 
Arkansas, Natchez and New Orleans, is one of the south- 
ern routes. There are, 1st, from Philadelphia to Pittsburg 
by rail roads and the Pennsylvania canal ; 2d, by Balti- 
more — the Baltimore and Ohio rail road, — and stages to 
Wheeling; or, 3dly, for people living- to the south of 
Washington, by stage, via Charlottsville, Va., Staunton, 
the hot, warm, and white sulphur spring's, Lewisburg, 
Charlestown, to Guyandot, from whence a regular line 
of steamboats run 3 times a week to Cincinnati. Interme- 
diate routes from Washington city to Wheeling ; or to 
Harper's ferry, to Fredericksburg, and intersect the route 
through Virginia at Charlottsville. 

From Philadelphia to Pittsburg, via rail road and canal. 



Columbia on the £ 




quehanna river 




rail road daily, 


Frankstown and 

By canal packets 





11— 92 

From thence by 

Middle town, 


rail road across 



the mountain to 

Juniatta river, 


Johnstown is ■ 




By canal to Blair s- 















Alleghany river, 






There are several lines for passengers and for the trans- 
portation of merchandise. 

The passenger's line usually goes through from Phila- 
delphia to Pittsburgh in four days, but frequently is be- 
hind several hours. Fare through from $10 to $12, be- 
sides meals. 

The packet boats that take freight and in which families 



who take goods and furniture usually go, are from 5 to 6 
days, and fare is usually from $7 to $8, besides meals. 

On all steamboats upon our western rivers, no additional 
charge is made for meals to cabin passengers, — and the 
tables are usually well supplied. Good order is observed, 
and the officers and waiters are attentive. Occasionally 
strangers will get on board of a boat that may be regarded 
as an exception to good order. 

Steamboat route from Pittsburgh to the mouth of Ohio. 


Middletown, Pa., 11 

Economy, " 8 — 19 

Beaver, " 10— 29 

Georgtown, " 13 — 42 

Steubenville, Ohio, 27— 69 

Wellsburgh, Va., 7— 7G 

Warren, Ohio, 6— 82 

Wheeling, Va., 10— 92 

Elizabethtown, " 11—103 

Sistersville, " 34—13 

Newport, Ohio, 27—164 

Marietta '■ 14—178 

Parkersburg, Va., 11—189 
Belpre, and Blenner- 

hasset'slsl'd, O., 4—193 

Troy, Ohio, 10—203 

Belleville, Va., 7—210 

Letart's Rapids, " 37 — 247 

Point Pleasant, " 27—274 

Gallipolis, Ohio, 4—278 

Gityandot, Va., 27—305 

Burlington, Ohio, 10 — 315 

Greensburg, Ky., 19—334 

Concord, Ohio, 12—346 
Portsmouth, (Ohio 

canal,) 7—353 

Vanccburg, Ky., 20—373 

Manchester, Ohio, 16—389 

Maysville, Ky., 11—400 

Charleston, " 4—404 






Moscow, " 

Point Pleasant, " 

New Richmond, " 

Columbia, " 

Fulton, " 

Cincinnati, " 

North Bend, u 

Lawrenceburgh, la., 
and mouth of the 




Rising Sun, 


Vevay, la., 

Port William, 


New London, 





Shippingsport thro 
the canal, 










15— 4S1 









2*6— 11| 



New Albany, 

Salt River, 










Mount Vernon 


Wabash River, 





, la., 




Shawneetowii) 111. 

Mouth of Saline, " 

Cave in Rock, " 

Golconda, " 

Smithlandy mouth 
of the Cumber- 
land River, Ky., 

Paducah, mouth 
of the Tennesee 
River, Ky., 

Caledonia, 111., 

Trinity, mouth of 
Cash River, 111., 

Mouth of the Ohio R. 6 — 975 





li— 613 












Persons who wish to visit Indianapolis will stop at Madi- 
son, la., and take the stage conveyance. From Louis- 
ville, via Vincennes, to St. Louis by stage, every day, 
273 miles, through in three days and half. Fare $17. 
Stages run from Vincennes to Terre Haute and other 
towns up the Wabash river. At Evansville, la., stage 
lines are connected with Vincennes and Terre Haute ; 
and at Shawneetovm thrice a week to Carlyle, 111., where 
it intersects the line from Louisville to St. Louis. From 
Louisville to Nashville by steamboats, passengers land at 
Smithland at the mouth of Cumberland river, unless they 
embark direct for Nashville. 

In the winter both stage and steamboat lines are uncer- 
tain and irregular. Ice in the rivers frequently obstructs 
navigation, and high waters and bad roads sometimes pre- 
vent stages from running regularly. 

Farmers who remove to the West from the Northern 
and Middle States, will find it advantageous in many in- 
stances to remove with their own teams and wagons. 
These they will need on their arrival. Autumn, or from 
September till November, is the favorable season for this 
mode of emigration. The roads are then in good order, 
the weather usually favorable, and feed plenty. People 
of all classes from the States south of the Ohio river, re- 
move with large wagons, carry and cook their own provi- 
sions, purchase their feed by the bushel, and invariably 
encamp out at night. 


Individuals who wish to travel through the interior of 
Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, &c, 
will find that the most convenient, sure, economical and 
independent mode is on horseback. Their expenses will 
be from $1,00 to $1,50 per day, and they can always con- 
sult their own convenience and pleasure as to time and 

Stage fare is usually from 6 to 8 cents per mile in the 
West. Meals at stage house, 37i cents. 

Steamboat fare, including meals. 

From Pittsburg to Cincinnati, $10 

" Cincinnati to Louisville, 4 

" Louisville to St. Louis, , 12 

And frequently the same from Cincinnati to St. Louis ; 
varying a little, however. 

A deck passage, as it is called, may be rated as follows : 

From Pittsburg to Cincinnati $3 

" Cincinnati to Louisville 1 

11 Louisville to St. Louis, 4 

The deck for such passengers is usually in the midship, 
forward the engine, and is protected from the weather. 
Passengers furnish their own provisions and bedding. 
They often take their meals at the cabin table with the 
boat hands, and pay 25 cents a meal. Thousands pass up 
and down the rivers as deck passengers, especially emi- 
grating families, who have their bedding, provisions, and 
cooking utensils on board. 

The whole expense of a single person from New York 
to St. Louis, via Philadelphia and Pittsburg, with cabin 
passage on the river, will range between $40 and $45. 
Time from 12 to 15 days. 

Taking the transportation lines on the Pennsylvania 
canal, and a deck passage on the steamboat, and the ex- 
penses will range between $20 and $25, supposing the 
person buys his meals at 25 cents, and eats twice a day. 
If he carry his own provisions, the passage, &c, will be 
from $15 to $18. 

Emigrants and travelers will find it to their interest 
always to be a little skeptical relative to the statements of 


stage, steam and canal boat agents, to make some allow- 
ance in their own calculations for delays, difficulties and 
expenses, and above all, to feel perfectly patient and in 
good humor with themselves, the officers, company, and 
the world, even if they do not move quite as rapid, and 
fare quite as well as they desire. 


Suppose the traveler enter the state at Chicago. He will 
find a daily stage to Ottawa, connected with a steam-boat 
to Peoria, and from thence to St. Louis, during navigation. 

To Ottawa. 

Miles. Ag-<rreg-at* 

Des Plaines river 12 

Plainfield 28 40 

Lisbon, (Holderman's Grove,) 24 64 

Ottawa 16 80 

To Galena by Rockford. 

Elgin 35 

Araesville 30 65 

Belvidere 6 71 

Rockford 14 85 

Junction of the Dixon and Galena road 42 127 

Forks of Apple river 18 145 

Galena 20 165 

To Milwaukee and Grecnbay. 

Milwaukee, (W. T.) 90 

Greenbay " 110 200 

To Ottawa, by Juliet and the canal route. 

Point of Oaks 11 

Sau-ga-nas-kee 9 20 



Milee. Aggregate 

Lockport 12 31 

Juliet 6 37 

Dresden 14 51 

Marseilles 24 75 

Ottawa 8 83 

To Dixon by Naperville. 

Brush Hill 19 

Naperville 10 29 

Aurora ,.. 12 41 

Sawyer's on the Third Meridian 44 85 

Dixon's 18 103 

To Danville. 

Thornton 23 

Kankakee crossing 30 53 

Iroquois C. H • 24 77 

Driftwood 10 87 

Timber of North Fork of Vermilion 13 100 

Danville 20 120 

From Chicago to Logansport, la 150 

to Perryville 120 

44 to La Fayette, la 120 

44 to Junction of the Kankakee and Des 

Plaines 50 


To Peoria, north side of Illinois River. 

Utica 10 

Rockwell 3 13 

La Salle, at the termination of the canal 1£ 14£ 

Peru li 16 

Boyd's Grove 30 46 

Northampton 19 65 

Peoria 21 86 

Same by Webster, Henry, and Chillicothe, near 

the river 78 

Same to same south of Illinois River 


Miles. Aggregate 

Vermilionville 10 

Lyons' colony 20 30 

Hanover 18 48 

Washington 8 56 

Peoria 10 66 

To Hennepin and Peoria. 

Vermilion river 13 

Hennepin 17 30 

To Bloomington, McLean Co 60 

Same to Dixon. 

Troy Grove 15 

Greenfield 15 30 

Inlet 12 42 

Dixon 12 54 

Up Fox River. 

To Yorkville 30 

" Aurora 6 36 

" Geneva 10 46 

" Charleston 2 48 

" Elgin 8 56 

" Dundee .-, 10 66 

" McHenry . 15 81 

u Northern boundary 15 96 

From Ottawa to Rockford by Coltonville. 

Coltonville, in Dekalb county 42 

Rockford 33 75 

To Danville. 

To Pontiac 37 

" Danville 75 112 

To Springfield by Tremont. 

To Vermilionville 10 

" Lyons' colony 20 30 

" Hanover 18 48 

" Washington 8 56 


Miles. Aggregate 

ToTremont 12 68 

«* Mackinau river 7 75 

" Conger's Grove 12 87 

" Salt Fork 12 99 

" Irish Grove 5 104 

" Sangamon river 15 119 

" Springfield 5 124 

To Peoria. 

Lacon 16 

Chillicothe, across the Illinois 10 26 

Rome 4 30 

Peoria 16 46 

To Dixon. 

Princeton 12 

Winnebago Inlet 18 30 

Dixon 15 45 

To Monmouth, Warren County. 

Boyd's Grove 12 

Wyoming, in Stark county 15 27 

Knoxville 30 57 

Monmouth 20 77 

To Tremont. 

To Lacon 16 

" Hanover 18 34 

" Washington 8 42 

" Tremont 12 54 

To Bloom ington. 

To Sandy 15 

" Mackinau crossing 35 50 

" Bloominjrton 12 62 


To Danville. 

Miles. Ag-greffate 

ToPontiac 50 

* 4 Danville, (not much traveled) 75 125 

To Galena, by Dixon, (stage three times each week.) 

Northampton 20 

Boyd's Grove 20 40 

Indiantown or Windsor 9 49 

Princeton 6 55 

Dadjo Grove 15 70 

Winnebago Inlet 8. 78 

Dixon 12 90 

Buffalo Grove, or St. Marion 12 102 

Cherry Grove 18 120 

Elizabeth, (Winter's stand) 25 145 

Galena 15 160 

To Oquawka via Knoxville, (stage three times each week.) 

Charleston 21 

Spoon river 12 33 

Knoxville 10 43 

Galesboro' 5 48 

Monmouth 15 63 

Oquawka 18 SI 

To Monmouth via Farmington. 

Harkness 21 

Farmington 3 24 

Middle Grove 4 28 

Spoon river 8 36 

Monmouth 25 61 

To Fort Madison, Iowa Territory. 

Farmington 24 

Elhsville, (Spoon river) 16 40 

LaHarpe 36 76 





Appanooce 18 94 

Fort Madison, across the Mississippi 1 95 

To Warsaw. 

Canton 25 

Centreville 9 34 

Spoon river 8 42 

Macomb 18 60 

Carthage 25 85 

Warsaw 18 103 

To Stephenson, Rock Island County. 

Wyoming, Stark county 28 

Wethersfield 15 43 

Richmond 15 58 

Green river 12 70 

Rock river 2 72 

Stephenson 10 82 

To Bloomington. 

Groveland 7 

Mackinau 13 20 

Bloomington 20 40 

To Havanna. 

Pekin 10 

Havanna 34 44 

To Springfield via Tremont 

Groveland 7 

Tremont 5 1 

Mackinau river 7 1 ' 

Conger's Grove 12 31 

Irish Grove 17 48 

Springfield 20 68 

To Clinton, Deioit County. 
Mackinau 20 


Miles. Aggregate 

Waynesville 25 45 

Clinton 10 55 

To Lewistown, by Canton 40 

To Pontiac, by Washington 50 

To St. Louis, by Springfield 165 


Down Rock River, to Stephenson 
To " Rock River Rapids," a town site opposite 

Harrisburgh 12 

Portland 15 27 

Crossing of Rock river, near the mouth of Green 

river 26 53 

Stephenson 10 63 

Up Rock River, to mouth of Peekatonokee. 

Grande Tour 6 

Oregon city 8 14 

Bloomingville 8 22 

Rockford 12 34 

Winnebago 2 36 

Peekatonokee 13 49 

To Galena. 

Buffalo Grove 12 

Cherry Grove 18 30 

Elizabeth, (Winters,) 25 55 

Galena 15 70 

To Galena, by Savanna. 

Buffalo Grove, and Cherry Grove 30 

Savanna 15 45 

Wappelo, Apple river 15 60 

Galena 15 75 

From Dixon to Freeport, Stephenson county... 47 



To Warsaw, by Stephenson. 


To Savanna, as above 30 

Fulton city 15 45 

Albany 8 53 

Port Byron 14 67 

Milan 9 76 

Stephenson 9 85 

Site of Rock Island city, at the mouth of Rock 

river .* 3 88 

Rockport 8 96 

Ferry, opposite Bloomington 15 111 

New Boston 18 129 

Oquawka 20 149 

Montreal, (ferry to Burlington, Iowa) 12 161 

Shockokon, p. o 6 167 

Appanooee 14 181 

Commerce 10 191 

Montebello 10 201 

Warsaw 10 211 

From Galena to Dubuque, (7. 77) 12 

From Belvidere, Boone County, to Genoa .... 15 

To Geneva 25 40 

" Rockford : 15 

" Mouth of Turtle creek, Northern boundary 21 
" Geneva lake, in Wisconsin, a northeastern 

direction 35 

To Chicago. 

To Coltonville 32 

" Geneva 25 57 

" Chicago 37 94 

From Oregon City to Buffalo Grove 13 


Suppose the traveler or emigrant were to pass down the 
Ohio river, and land at Shawneetown. He would find a 
stage three times a week to Carlyle, where it intersects the 
daily stage from Vincennes to St. Louis. From Equality, a 
semi-weekly stage runs by Frankfort, Nashville, and Belville, 
to St. Louis. 


To Carlyle 

Miles. Aggregate 

Equality 15 

Griswold's, p. o 20 35 

Moore's prairie, (Wilbank's) 21 56 

Mount Vernon 12 68 

Walnut HiU 16 84 

Forks of the Vincennes and St. Louis road 16 100 

Carlyle 3 103 

To Albion by Carmi. 

New Haven 18 

Carmi 15 33 

Fox river, p. o 9 42 

Albion 18 60 

From Shawneetown to Golconda 35 


To Belleville, St. Clair County. 

Frankfort 36 

Little Muddy, p. o 17 53 

Pinckneyville 10 63 

Nashville 22 85 

Middleton's ferry, Kaskaskia river 18 103 

Belleville 20 123 

To Fairfield, Wayne County 

Duncanton 19 


Mile*. Aggregate 

Carmi 10 29 

Burnt prairie 13 42 

Fairfield 11 53 

To " City of Cairo" mouth of Ohio. 

Mass' settlement 18 

Vienna 20 38 

Napoleon 15 53 

Caledonia 5 58 

Trinity 10 68 

City of Cairo 6 74 

To Paducah, Ky., mouth of Tennessee. 

Golconda 30 

Paducah 20 50 

To Vincennes, la. 

Carmi 29 

Graysville 16 45 

Mount Carmel 18 63 

Armstrong, p. o 7 70 

St. Francisville, crossing of the Wabash 10 80 

Vincennes, la 10 90 

To Mount Vernon, by McLeansborough. 

Indian creek, p. o 11 

McLeansborough 18 29 

Moore's prairie 13 42 

Mount Vernon 12 54 


To Frankfort 46 

" Joncsborough, b) T Vienna 48 

Fredonia, by Bainbridge 50 

Shawneetown 35 

Suppose the traveler have occasion to land at the new 
" City of Cairo," at the mouth of the Ohio, he will find no 


public stage yet running, for his accommodation ; but doubt- 
less stages will start from this point soon, and rail-road cars, 
before many years, will carry him into the interior on the 
great central rail-road, now in progress of construction. 

To Vandalia. 

Miles. Aggregate 

Trinity, mouth of Cash 6 

Unity " 8 14 

Jonesboro' 22 36 

Bainbridge 25 61 

Frankfort 15 76 

Mount Vernon 30 106 

Jordan's prairie 10 116 

Salem 14 130 

Vandalia 29 159 

To Carlyle. 

Jonesboro' 36 

Pinus,p.o 12 48 

Muddy river 12 60 

Nine Mile prairie, p. o 22 82 

Nashville 23 105 

Covington 11 116 

Carlyle 10 126 

To Kaskaskia. 

Jonesboro', as before 36 

Brownsville 26 62 

Georgetown 25 87 

Kaskaskia 16 103 

To Kaskaskia, by the river. bottom. 

Mouth of Clear creek 35 

Muddy river 22 57 

Grand tower 10 67 

Liberty 23 90 

Chester 9 99 

Kaskaskia 7 106 

From Caledonia, Ml. to Commerce, Mo. 

Unity 10 

Commerce 10 20 


From Brownsville to Vandalia. 

Miles. Aggregate 

Pinckneyville 26 

Nashville 22 48 

Covington 11 59 

Carlyle 10 69 

Vandalia 31 100 

Suppose the traveler to land at Chester, a pleasant, commer- 
cial town on the Mississippi, about two miles below the mouth 
of the Kaskaskia river. 


To Pinckneyville. 

Georgetown 13 

Pinckneyville 16 29 

To Belleville, by Athens. 

Kaskaskia 7 

Preston 12 19 

Athens 20 39 

Belleville 15 54 

To Carlyle. 

Columbus 14 

Eden 2 16 

Elkhorn point 16 32 

Covington 15 47 

Carlyle 10 57 

The city of St. Louis is a great western thoroughfare for 
travel and all sorts of business. The stage arrives here from 
Louisville, Ky., daily. Another stage route from the east 
reaches here by Columbus, O., Indianapolis, la., Terre Haute, 
la., and Vandalia, 111. A third passes across tho state bf 
Springfield, the present and permanent seat of government. 

Suppose the traveler was at St. Louis, and wished to return 
cast, by land, along the great western stage route, to Louis- 
ville, by Vincennes. 

To Vincennes, on the stage route 

Belleville 14 

Rock Spring 8 22 


Miles. Agg-repate 

Lebanon 4 26 

Sugar creek 12 38 

Aviston 3 41 

Shoal Creek bridge 6 47 

Carlyle 9 56 

Forks of Shawneetown road 2 58 

Grand Prairie house 7 65 

Salem 12 77 

Maysville 32 109 

Lawrenceville 37 146 

Vincennes, la 9 — —155 

(From St. Louis, direct to Rock Spring, take the left hand, 

five miles from the ferry, leaving the French Village fields on 

the right. The distance is 18 miles, 4 miles less than the 
stage route.) 

To Terre Haute, by Vandalia. 

Collinsville ! 10 

Troy 7 17 

Marine settlement 6 23 

Hickory grove 13 36 

Greenville 9 45 

Vandalia 19 64 

Ewington 29 93 

Woodbury, p. o 18 111 

Greenup 7 118 

Martinsville 16 134 

Marshall 11 145 

Livingston 3 148 

Terre Haute, la 13 161 

To Springfield, by Edwardsville. 

Edwardsville 21 

Paddock's grove 7 28 

Bunker Hill 10 38 

Carlinville 20 58 

Macoupin point 18 76 

Springfield 24 100 

To Kaskaskia, by Waterloo. 

Cahokia , 5 

Columbia 9 14 



Miles. AffgTeeale 

Waterloo 8 22 

Prairie du Rocher 21 43 

Kaskaskia 12 55 

To Shawncetown, by Belleville and Nashville. 

Belleville 14 

Muscoutah 11 25 

Middleton's ferry, Kaskaskia river 9 34 

Nashville 13 47 

Little Muddy, p. o 32 79 

Frankfort 17 96 

Equality 36 132 

Shawneetown 15 147 

To Springfield, by Alton and Jacksonville. 

Alton : 24 

Monticello 4 28 

Delhi 7 35 

Jerseyville 7 42 

Kane 5 47 

Carrollton 9 56 

Whitehall 10 66 

Manchester 8 74 

Jacksonville 17 91 

Berlin p. o., Island grove 17 108 

Springfield 16 124 

Alton is the point to which travelers should direct their 
course for the contiguous counties. Stages run from this 
point to most of the principal interior towns. 


To Carlyle. 

Edwardsville 13 

Troy 7 20 

Lebanon 13 

Or direct from Troy io Carlyle 33 —53 

To Belleville. 

Edwardsville 13 

Collinsville 11 24 

Belleville 13 37 


To Vandalia, 
(A road has been located on a direct course near where the 
line for the " National Road" is marked on the map, but 
which is not yet much traveled. The streams are not all 
bridged, and other obstructions exist. The reader will un- 
derstand that the National Road has been finally located and 
worked no further west than Vandalia.) 

Miles. Aggregate 


Edwardsville 13 

Marine settlement, (Judd's) 13 26 

Hickory grove 13 39 

Greenville 9 48 

Vandalia 19 67 

To Terre Haute, by Shelbyville. 

Upper Alton 2^ 

Staunton 17£ 20 

Hillsborough 18 38 

Shelbyville 42 80 

Cochran's grove 11 91 

Charleston 24 115 

Paris 39 145 

Terre Haute 20 165 

To Quincy, by Gilead and Atlas. 

Grafton 18 

Camden, (mouth of the Illinois) 2 20 

Gilead 19 39 

Hamburg 10 49 

Belleview, p. o 10 59 

Atlas 15 74 

Pleasant vale 12 86 

Clio, p. o. 10 96 

Ash ton, p. o 9 105 

Quincy 9 114 

To St. Charles, Mo 18 

To Springfield, by Jacksonville 100 

To Springfield, by Carlinville. 

Woodburn 18 

Carlinville 18 36 

Auburn 22 58 


Miles. Aggregate 

Springfield 14 72 

To Jacksonville, by Brighton. 

Brighton 13 

Delaware, p. o 13 26 

Fayette 8 34 

Scottsville 13 47 

Jacksonville 20 67 

To Naples, by Winchester. 

Carrollton 34 

Whitehall 10 14 

Manchester 8 52 

Winchester 10 62 

Exeter 8 70 

Naples 7 77 

To Clarksville, Mo. 

Bluffdale 10 

Newport ferry 4 14 

Clarksville 18 32 

To Vandalia, by Carlinville. 

Rivesville 16 

Carlinville 16 32 

Hillsboro' 27 59 

Hurricane, p. o 15 74 

Vandalia - 12 86 

To Springfield, by Waverly. 

New Greenfield 10 

Eagle point 14 24 

Waverly 1 35 

Springfield 22 57 

To Grafton Island, St. Charles, Mo. 

Kane 9 

Grafton 15 24 

St. Charles, (Mo.) 10 34 

To Atlas, Pike county. 

Bluffdale 10 

Newport 4 14 


Miles. Affgreffttte 

Atlas 22 36 


To Quincy, by Griggsville. 

Naples 23 

Griggsville 7 30 

Beverly 15 45 

Kingston 3 48 

Liberty, p. o 9 57 

Quincy 14 71 

To Vandalia. 

Franklin 12 

Waverly 6 18 

Hillsboro' 42 60 

Vandalia 29 89 

To Pittsfield. 

Winchester 16 

Florence, (Illinois river) 9 25 

Pittsfield 10 35 

To Meredosia. 

Morgan city 11 

Meredosia, (by rail-road cars) 12 23 

To Havanna. 

Princeton 1 

Sangamon river 16 26 

Havanna 16 42 

To Tremont, Tazewell county. 

Princeton 10 

Petersburgh 20 30 

Sugar grove 8 38 

Irish grove 6 44 

Salt Fork of Sangamon 4 48 

Mackinauford ... 22 70 

Liberty 3 73 

Tremont 4 77 

To Springfield. 

Island grove 18 

Springfield 18 36 


To Beardstown. 

Miles. AggjMgtti 


New Lexington 9 

Bath, p. o 7 16 

Beardstown 9 25 

FROM SPRINGFIELD, (the seat of government,) 
To Vandalia. 

Sugar creek 10 

Macoupin point 14 24 

Hillsboro' 24 48 

Vandalia 29 77 

To Chicago, by Ottawa. 

Irish grove 19 

Tremont 33 52 

Washington 12 64 

Hanover 8 72 

Vermilionville 38 110 

Ottawa 10 120 

Holderman's Grove 16 136 

Plainfield 24 160 

Des Plaines river 28 188 

Chicago 12 200 

To Chicago, by Bloomington and Juliet. 

Elkhart grove 18 

Postville 12 30 

Waynesville 15 45 

Bloomington 18 63 

Pontiac 35 98 

Kankakee 45 143 

Juliet 15 158 

Lockport 6 164 

Chicago 32 196 

To Danville. 

Mechanicsburgh 14 

Decatur 26 40 

Sadorus 36 76 

Sidney 15 91 

Danville 27 118 


To Terre Haute, by Shelbyville. (A tri-weekly stage route.) 

Miles. Aggregate 

Rochester, p. o 8 

Bethany, p. o 14 22 

Shelbyville 35 57 

Charleston 35 92 

Grand view 18 110 

Paris 12 122 

Terre Haute, la 20 142 

To Havanna and mouth of Spoon River. 

Salisbury 12 

Petersburgh 10 22 

Huron 10 32 

Chatham, p. o 4 36 

Havanna 12 48 

To Vandalia. 

Randolph grove, p. o 12 

Clinton 10 22 

Decatur 25 47 

Shelbyville 35 82 

Vandalia 40 122 

To Ottawa. 

Mackinau river 13 

Forks of the road to Hennepin 15 28 

Vermilion river 16 44 

Ottawa 20 64 

To Danville. 

Mount Pleasant, or Cheney's grove 25 

Urbanna 30 55 

Union, p. o 12 67 

Danville 18 85 

Suppose the traveler passes up the Illinois river, for Car- 
rollton, he will land at Newport — For Winchester, opposite 
Florence — For Pittsfield, at Florence — For Griggsville, at 
Phillip's ferry — For Jacksonville, either Naples or Meredosia — 
For Virginia, in Cass co., or Springfield, at Beardstown — For 
Rushville, at Beardstown, or Erie, 3 miles above — For Lewis- 
town, at Havanna— For Canton, Fulton co.. at Havanna, or 


Liverpool, or Copperas creek — For Tremont and Blooming- 
ton, at Pekin — For Jubilee college, Knoxville, Farmington, 
Charleston, and Stark county, at Peoria — For Granville, Put- 
nam county, and Princeton, Bureau county, at Hennepin — 
For Vermilion ville, at Peru, or city of Lasalle. 


To Quincy, by Mount Sterling. 

MileB. Aggregate 

Versailles 7 

Mount Sterling 8 15 

Clayton 11 26 

Columbus 12 38 

Quincy 15 53 

To Petersburgh, Menard county. 

Princeton, Jersey prairie 24 

Philadelphia 5 29 

Clary's grove 10 39 

Petersburgh 6— —45 

To Mir g an city, by rail-road 12 

To Jacksonville 23 

To Springfield 59 

To same, by Jersey prairie 54 

To Warsaw. 

Rushville 12 

Augusta 21 33 

Warsaw 26 59 

To Fort Madison, (Iowa) by Carthage. 

Rushville 12 

St. Mary's 24 36 

Carthage 12 48 

Appanooce, opposite Fort Madison 18 66 

To Monmouth, Warren county. 

Rushville, as before 12 

Macomb 24 36 

Monmouth 32 68 


Miles. Aggregate 

FROM HA V ANNA, (mouth of spoon river, 
To Rock river, in Whiteside county 


Waterfbrd 5 

Lewistown 7 12 

Canton 15 27 

Middle grove, p. o 10 37 

Knoxville 18 55 

Richmond, Henry county 35 90 

Genesee 5 95 

Rock river 12 107 

To Macomb 40 

From Copperas Creek landing, to Canton 10 


To Tremont 11 

To Bloomington 40 

Suppose the traveler proceeds up the Mississippi, for Adams 
county, he will land at Quincy — For Hancock co., at War- 
saw — For Warren co., at Oquawka — For Mercer co., at New 
Boston — For Rock Island co., and the Rock river country, at 
Stephenson — For Whiteside co., at Albany or Fulton city — 
For Ogee, Winnebago, and Stephenson counties, at Savanna. 

To Pittsfield. 

Payson 12 

Worcester 18 30 

Pittsfield 9 39 

To Griggsville. 

Liberty -. 14 

Kingston 9 23 

Beverly .-. 3 26 

Griggsville 15 41 

To Lewistown, by Rushville. 

Columbus 15 

Clayton 12 27 

Rushville 22 49 

Lewistown 35 84 


To Peoria, by Macomb. 

Miles. Aggregate 

"Walnut point, p. o 17 

Augusta 18 35 

Macomb 22 57 

Spoon river 18 75 

Centerville 8 83 

Canton 9 92 

Peoria 25 117 

To Stephenson, by Monmouth. 

Fairfield 15 

Carthage 24 39 

La Harpe .....14 53 

Monmouth 27 80 

Stephenson 46 126 

To Warsaw. 

Ursa, p. o 11 

Lima 9 20 

Green plains 8 28 

Warsaw 7 35 

To Macomb. 

Carthage 18 

Macomb 25 43 

To Stephenson. 

Montebello ; 10 

Commerce 10 20 

Appanooce 14 34 

Shockokon, p. o 14 48 

Montreal, (ferry to Burlington, Iowa) 6 54 

Oquawka 12 66 

New Boston 20 86 

Mouth of Rock river 35 121 

Stephenson 3 124 

To Dixon, by Knoxville. 

Carthage 18 

Macomb 25 43 

Knoxville 40 83 


Miles. Aggreg*t« 

Osceola 38 121 

Providence 10 131 

Inlet 39 161 

Dixon 15 17G 


To Galena 85 

" Dixon 63 

" Monmouth 46 

" New Boston 38 

" Mouth of Green river 10 

44 Harrisburg, Rock River rapids 51 

Suppose a traveler to be along the Wabash river, on the 
eastern side of the state. 

If he proceed up the Wabash river, which can now be 
done at a full stage of water, by steam-boat, and which will 
soon be made navigable at all seasons : 

For Edward and White counties, he will land at Graysville — 
For Wabash county, and interior, at Mt. Carmel — For Law. 
rence county, at Vincennes — For Clark county, at York, or 
Darwin — For Edgar and Vermilion counties, at Terre Haute. 


ToCarmi 20 

To Albion 10 

To Burnt prairie 15 

To Vandalia. 

Maysville 40 

Vandalia 45 85 

To Salem, by Fairfield. 

Albion 18 

Fairfield 18 36 

Salem 31 67 

To Equality. 

To Graysville 18 

" Carmi 20 38 



To New Haven 15 

" Equality 20- 

To Vincennes, la. 

Armstrong, p. o 8 

St. Francisville, (Wabash ferry) 10 

Vincennes, (la.) 10- 

To Lawrenceville 








To St. Louis, Mo. 


Coan's, (Grand prairie) 14 91 Messinger's 8 139 

Carlyle 10 101 Illinoistown, at ferry 10 149 

Amos 8 109 St. Louis, over the Mis- 

Shoal Creek bridge 1 110 sissippi 1 — 150 







Sugar creek 














Rock Spring 



Allison's prairie, or Chris- 
tian settlement 

To Danville. 

15 22 Ono, p. o 



8 42 Danville 

29 Bloomfield 
34 Georgetown 












Daily stage route from Edwardsburgh, Cass county, Michi. 
gan, to Chicago, III. 


Terre Coupee 
Rolling prairie 

12 miles. 
12 « 

7 " 

8 " 

Michigan city 

10 miles 


14 « 


45 " 

Same on left hand route, which is the best for travel, forty- 
eight miles. 


The principal stage route (daily line) from m9a . Aggregate 
Chicago to Ottawa now is by Juliet Miles. 

To "Point of oaks" 12 

44 Lockport 18 30 

44 Juliet 6 36 

44 Dupage 7 43 

44 Au Sable, Patrick's 6 49 

44 Lisbon, Hill's 10 59 

44 Holderman's Grove 5 64 

44 Ottawa 16 80 

From Michigan City to Juliet. 

To Bailietown 14 

44 Liverpool, (Deep river) 11 25 

44 State Line 12 37 

44 Thornton 5 42 

44 Cooper's Grove 10 52 

44 Hadley 10 62 

44 Juliet 8 70 

The 44 old Indian trace," traveled by many, passes to the 
left of this route, and nearer the Kankakee. 


The body of this work, as the date of the Introduction 
shows, was finished April 1, 1839. During the past year 
some important changes have taken place in Illinois, which 
Bhould be noticed. 

The counties of Jersey and Williamson have been organ- 

The name of Dane county has been changed to that of 

Hardin county was formed from the eastern part of Pope 
county, at the recent session of the legislature. It is a small 


county, triangular in shape, but contains rich land and a 
populous settlement. It is watered by the Ohio river, which 
forms its southern boundary, and Grand Prairie and Big 
creeks, and contains about 100 square miles. 

The seat of government was removed from Vandalia to 
Springfield, on the 4th of July, 1839, where it is permanently 

The most important change is the suspension of the system 
of Internal Improvement. 

At the recent session of the legislature, called by the gov- 
ernor, with reference to this subject, the following arrange- 
ments were made by law. 

1. The Fund Commissioners are reduced from three to one. 
He shall receive all iron already purchased for the state, and 
pay all duties, freights, and charges on the same, and provide 
for its transportation to the state. And to meet such ex- 
penses he may sell state bonds, but not under par value, to a 
sufficient amount to pay such expenditures ; but not dispose 
of bonds, or borrow money on behalf of the state for any 
other purpose, except he is hereafter authorized by law. 

2. The " Board of Public Works" are reduced from seven 
to three members. They are required to dispose of such pro- 
perty as is not wanted for immediate use, and as is liable to 
waste ; to settle for all contracts performed, with liabilities 
and damages ; to secure and put into successful operation 
such rail roads as are already completed, and establish rates 
of toll ; but are prohibited from letting additional contracts, 
until further authorized by law. 

3. The rail road from Meredosia to Jacksonville is nearly 
completed, and the cars placed on it. 

4. It is expected that at the next regular session of the 
legislature, which commences the first Monday in December, 
1840, provision will be made to continue the work on one or 
two rail roads until completed. 


This splendid work, which is popular, has made 6teady 
progress the past year. 

By a law of the recent legislature, the Canal Commission- 
ers are authorized to sell canal lands so as to meet the in- 


terest on loans semi-annually. And if funds fail, they are 
authorized to issue their checks to contractors in sums not 
less than one hundred dollars, bearing interest at six per 


This project is still in successful operation. Mr. Holbrook, 
the president of the company, has recently returned from 
England with a million and half of dollars to carry on the 

J. M. P. 

Rock Spring, III, Feb. 13, 1840. 







STATE OF NEW YORK, large and small. 


STATE OF INDIANA, in Sections, ditto. 

STATE OF ILLINOIS, in Sections. 

STATE OF MICHIGAN, in Sections. 

TERRITORY OF IOWA, in Sections. 






&c, &c. 

GUIDE," with a new and correct Map embracing Ohio, In- 
diana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. 

new and correct Map. 

The » ILLINOIS DIRECTORY," with a new Map ex. 
hibiting the Sections. 

IOWA, with a new Map exhibiting the Sections.